Meet Senator Formaldehyde aka Sen. Vitter


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Via ProPublica:

When Sen. David Vitter persuaded the EPA to agree to yet another review of its long-delayed assessment of the health risks of formaldehyde, he was praised by companies that use or manufacture a chemical found in everything from plywood to carpet.As long as the studies continue, the EPA will still list formaldehyde as a “probable” rather than a “known” carcinogen, even though three major scientific reviews now link it to leukemia and have strengthened its ties to other forms of cancer. The chemical industry is fighting to avoid that designation, because it could lead to tighter regulations and require costly pollution controls.

“Delay means money. The longer they can delay labeling something a known carcinogen, the more money they can make,” said James Huff, associate director for chemical carcinogenesis at the National Institute for Environmental Health in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There’s more…

Congress to Castro: Release Alan Gross


Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Today Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) joined 40 Members of Congress, including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), on a bipartisan letter to urge Cuban officials to release Alan Gross. Mr. Gross, a U.S. citizen from the Eighth District of Maryland, was arrested in Havana on December 3, 2009 while doing work pursuant to a U.S. government contract. The text of the letter is below:

Mr. Jorge Bolanos
Chief of Mission
Cuban Interest Section
Embassy of Switzerland
2639 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Dear Mr. Bolanos,
We wish to convey our serious concern regarding the arrest and continued imprisonment by your government of an American citizen, Alan P. Gross.  We urge the Cuban Government to immediately release Mr. Gross from custody and return him to his family in the United States.
Mr. Gross was arrested in Havana on December 3, 2009.  It is our understanding that at the time of his arrest, Mr. Gross was in Cuba to help the Jewish community improve their ability to communicate with Jews, both in Cuba and overseas.  He was working pursuant to a U.S. government contract.  Mr. Gross’s work in Cuba emanated from his desire to make a positive impact for others of his faith on the island.

The rest of the letter is here…

FactChecking POTUS


Via FactCheck.Org, A Texas-size Whopper:

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, at a nationally televised meeting of House Republicans in Baltimore, accused President Obama to his face of running up deficits a dozen times greater than the GOP’s. The president said, “That’s factually just not true, and you know it’s not true,” and he invited “any independent fact-checker out there” to assess which man got the facts right.

OK, we will.

There’s more…

Harry, Tell Us How You REALLY feel


Via Ezra Klein:

“I’m just who I am, O.K.?” Reid told me before Christmas. “I didn’t take lessons on how to speak on television, and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about who I am. I don’t like to read stuff about me, but I’ve become accustomed to it: you know, ‘Reid misspeaks.’ I’d rather people were saying, Oh, that guy is a golden-tongued devil.” He paused. “I have no regret over calling Greenspan a political hack. Because he was. The things you heard me say about George Bush? You never heard me apologize about any of them. Because he was. What was I supposed to say? I called him a liar twice. Because he lied to me twice.”

There’s more. If you can believe it…