YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: Republican cats, air inequality, another gay loss


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SCOTT MAXWELL’S CAT HAS A PROBLEM WITH MIRRORS. LOCAL REPUBLICAN LEADER LEW OLIVER HAS A PROBLEM WITH PUERTO RICANS. SAME DIFF: “I have a cat who finds mirrors totally baffling. She's not a particularly smart cat. In fact, we only ended up with Leona because my wife and kids once went to get pet food for our one cat and came home convinced by one of those ‘Please save this cat’ displays that we needed another. Anyway, Leona is often baffled by her own reflection. She will paw at it, try to sneak up on it and even stand on her hind legs, trying to attack it. Why am I telling you this? Because I think Republicans in Florida look at Puerto Ricans the same way Leona looks at her reflection. They are utterly confused

and instinctively defensive. This helps explain why Orange County's GOP leader Lew Oliver recently described Puerto Rico as ‘semi-socialist government where the highest aspiration is a nice secure government job.’ He also called the entire territory ‘a terrible basket case.’ This, by the way, was Lew's response to being asked why more Latinos weren't joining the Republican Party. Way to win 'em over, Lew.” (via Orlando Sentinel)


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INEQUALITY REMAINS IN THE AIR, LITERALLY: “A study released by the University of Minnesota this week indicated that people of color are exposed to air that is 38 percent more polluted than the air breathed by white people. In an interview with The Minnesota Post, the study’s lead researcher, Julian Marshall, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, said that ‘the main [factors in how polluted the air breathed in was] are race and income, and they both matter. In our findings, however, race matters more than income.’ When Marshall compared the exposure gap between high-income Hispanics and low-income whites, for example, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations were still higher among high-income Hispanics. ‘We were quite surprised to find such a large disparity between whites and nonwhites related to air pollution,’ Marshall told The Minnesota Post. ‘Especially the fact that this difference is throughout the U.S., even in cities and states in the Midwest.’” (via The Raw Story)


THE PART WHERE THE CONSERVATIVE NATIONAL REVIEW DECIDES THAT OUR MEDICAID EXPANSION STORY IS SO MUCH A NON-ISSUE THAT THEY MAKE IT AN ISSUE: “As the 2014 midterm elections ramp up, liberal media have are pinning the death of a Florida woman on Republicans. Literally. “Democrats Need to Start Blaming the GOP for the Death of Charlene Dill” is the title of a recent piece by Brian Beutler at the New Republic, and others are agreeing with him. Dill, a 32-year-old vacuum saleswoman, collapsed and died last month from a heart condition at an Orlando-area home where she was working. She left behind three children. The reason Beutler and others are attributing Dill’s death to Republicans is because she fell within the “Medicaid gap,” meaning her she earned too much money to be eligible for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for subsidies to buy a private health-care plan. In Florida, Republican lawmakers opted not to expand the program over concerns that the federal government would not follow through in funding in the coming years. Dill’s death came to the forefront after the Orlando Weekly, an alternative newspaper, published the story earlier this month. Reporter Billy Manes labeled her one of “victims of a political war,” and repeatedly laid blame for her death at the feet of the GOP.” (via National Review)


MEANWHILE, YOUR STATE CONTINUES TO HATE YOU IF YOU ARE GAY: “One Florida bill bars employers from discriminating against people who are gay or transgendered. But despite strong business community support, it never saw the light of debate this year.   The chances of passing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act were promising by several measures. It’s a bill making it illegal to treat people worse based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. First, it has bi-partisan sponsorship. Then there’s broad public support, according to a 2013 public opinion survey. Emma Humphries at the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service says, ‘We were shocked, given that, if anything, the bias would be toward the older generation, that 73 percent of respondents support the Competitive Workforce Act, while only 24 percent oppose it.’ She says researchers expected lower support considering they called only landline telephones, which tend to have older respondents on the other end. And finally, lobbyist-armed business heavyweights like Disney formed a coalition to endorse the measure. Health insurance giant Florida Blue was also a founding member. The company’s Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs, Jason Altmire, says state law should prohibit workplace harassment for any reason. ‘We think that it’s holding back the state of Florida in recruiting people from not just all over the country but all over the world,’ he says. ‘It’s disappointing.’” (via WFSU)


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