Dec 16, 2008

Senate Majority Leader continues to try and sabotage smoking ban

LANSING -- The push to reach a compromise on the workplace smoking ban is still alive, despite the best efforts of Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop to politicize a bipartisan issue and kill the bill.

The Conference Committee that is charged with coming up a compromise between the Senate and House passed version met for some two hours Tuesday without reaching an agreement, and another meeting has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Room 424 of the State Capitol in Lansing. The conference committee meeting is open to the public.

Bishop has always been against the bill, and he has done his best to kill it at every turn. When the House first passed the bill way back in December 2007 that included an exception for casinos, he sent it the committee he chaired, the Committee on Government Operations and Reform instead of the more logical Health Policy Committee. Bishop’s committee has never met, and it’s where bills go to die. The Health Policy committee is chaired by a medical doctor who supports the ban.

After constant pressure from the 80 percent of Michigan residents who support the important public health issue, he finally allowed a vote, and in May the Republican-controlled Senate passed a substitute bill introduced by Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, with a bipartisan vote that enacted a total ban.

Bishop then assigned two of the most conservative senators who both voted against the bill to the three-person Senate contingent to the conference committee instead of one of the nine Republicans Senators who voted for the bill.

Bishop was upset over the weekend over a letter Basham sent to supporters from all over the state. The letter called a ridiculous compromise proposal the Republicans floated known as "pay to play" that allows the bar or restaurant owner to purchase a permit that allows the owner to continue to poison his workers and non-smoking patrons. What it really is is "a license to kill."

Bishop was on rightwing radio station WJR this morning, and he said Basham, who has been fighting for the smoking ban for a decade, was “out of control on the issue, and has let emotion takeover.”

He also continued to try and further politicize the bipartisan public health issue by blaming the House Democrats for the license to kill; saying the so-called license to kill “compromise” came from Rep. Barb Farrah, D-Southgate. That doesn’t make much sense because Farrah voted against the bill both times; with the exceptions and without them.

There is no excuse for not getting this done before all bills died after Thursday when residents so overwhelmingly support a smoking ban. I want to see a total indoor ban like the Senate passed, but I know that sometimes compromises have to be made. All or nothing isn’t the way to go. I can see talking a bite of the apple now and protecting the health of as many workers and customers as possible, and when a partial ban proves what 33 other states and entire countries like Italy, Scotland and Ireland already know - that a ban does not hurt business - we can finish off the apple and a total ban will be put into effect.


Not Anonymous said...

WJR is now "right wing radio"? You've really lost it. Any station that carries Mitch Albom cannot be considered "Right wing radio".

Tell that night nurse to tell the day nurse, you're not to be let out of the home during the day either.

Gerilynn said...

Just a small sampling of the lies you've been telling about smoking bans not hurting in other places it's tried.

Anonymous said...

This is a ploy by the part of the Democratic Party that believes it is anointed by some Greater Power to tell us fools how to live.

Or, to be more accurate, some Democrats just don't like smelly cigarets so they think there should be a law that caters to their personal preferences.

But they dress it up as a big public health issue, in order to pressure Republicans who favor individual choice. They figure they can bash Republicans by saying opponents to the ban are indifferent to deaths caused by second-hand smoke in bars and restaurants (although they can't produce a single example of such a death.)

But when the Democratic House passed a smoking ban, they included exemptions for their sacred cows, such as casinos. What's this? We have to protect the health of patrons and employees...unless they work at a casino? Republicans saw the hypocrisy and outsmarted the Dems by passing a version in the
Republican Senate that outlawed smoking in all public places, including casinos.

The ban was there for the Democrats but -- despite their claims that they were interested in the welfare of the working man and woman -- they failed to pass it in the House.

That's because the issue was never about health; it was just another example of Democrats trying to get the camel's nose under the tent so that Government could tell us how to live their lives.

So Bishop is smarter than the Democrats? That's not a crime. That's why he's a Republican and Guru is a Democrat.

I repeat: The ban was there and the Democrats backed away from it.

I also repeat that I'm not a smoker and I dislike the smell of smoke on my clothes after a night at a bar or a restaurant. If it bothers me enough, I'll quit going there. It's my choice.

Not Anonymous said...

These Democrats must really be in a quandry. They want to ban smoking, supposedly for health purposes, but they elected a smoker as the new President. They also wsnt to claim that those using his middle name are racists and implying that he is Muslim. Yet now, Obama is going to use his middle name in the inauguration.

Of course, there is always global warming. They need higher taxes to combat global warming. The problem is that the planet has not had an increase in temperature since 1998 and already this year, Montana has far exceeded their record low. The southeast has had the earliest cold spell on record and the most number of cold spells for the time frame in decades.

At this rate, their foolishness will continue. Who knows, they may even select a Kennedy to replace Clinton in the Senate in New York. Or has that been suggested already?

Communications guru said...

Yes, WJR is a rightwing radio station. When I hear Rush limdick, seat hateity or mark levane talk about the Detroit Lions, the Red Wings or the Detroit Tigers, then I will accept your claim that Mitch Albom is the token liberal on the most powerful radio station in a blue state in a liberal city.

Ah, the old name-calling when you have no real argument ploy. You are very good at that.

Communications guru said...

Here is a couple that prove my point, "Gerilynn."

Then perhaps you can also explain what your other anonymous friend refuses to answer: How do less than 25 percent of the population control so much money, and why does such a small minority of people wield so much power?

Communications guru said...

No, this is not "a ploy by the part of the Democratic Party that believes it is anointed by some Greater Power to tell us fools how to live." This bill has members of both parties voting for both sides of the issue, and you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that fact.

Nor is it about "smelly cigarettes," it's about a public health backed up by scientific evidence that proves secondhand smoke kills and sickens people.

"…although they can't produce a single example of such a death." You're still going to stick with that stupid argument? Well, I'm still waiting for your scientific evidence that says secondhand smoke does not harm people. You should be able to find a scantiest financed by the tobacco companies to get some evidence. But I am still waiting after issuing that challenge about five times now.

So you're till clinging to the claim that Republicans in the Senate voted for the bill just to set up the Democrats, call their bluff or show them up? Then how do you explain the Republicans who voted for the ban in December 2007 that exempted casinos? I know the GOP is bankrupt, but I don't individual Republican Senators are so bankrupt as to vote for something they don't like just to stick it to Democrats politically. That argument may be made for Bishop's motives for allowing a vote, but we already know what a scumbag he is.

"The ban was there and the Democrats backed away from it? How you reach these stupid conclusions is mind-boggling.

What about the choice of the wait staff or bartenders who don’t have the same choice as you do? Why are such a small minority engaging in a harmful activity allowed to dictate to the majority and endanger their health? This is about mire than your smelly clothes: its health hazard.

Not Anonymous said...

You have failed to prove the health hazard. You offer opinions, but not solid evidence. Your response is to demand that others prove a negative.

Communications guru said...

No one can be that stupid. Here is the U.S. Surgeon General's report on the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. This is scientific evidence. In the report, he says "Twenty years ago, the 1986 Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking concluded that secondhand smoke exposure was a cause of disease in nonsmokers."

After more scientific evidence and study he says,
"Secondhand smoke is a health hazard for all people: it is harmful to both children and adults, and to both women and men. It is harmful to nonsmokers whether they are exposed in their homes, their vehicles, their workplaces, or in enclosed public places. We have found that certain populations are especially susceptible to the health effects of secondhand smoke, including infants and children, pregnant women, older persons, and persons with pre-existing respiratory conditions and heart disease.

It is not surprising that secondhand smoke is so harmful. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke inhale the same toxins and cancer-causing substances as smokers. Secondhand smoke has been found to contain more than 50 carcinogens and at least 250 chemicals that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. This helps explain why nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke develop some of the same diseases that smokers do. "

I "have failed to prove the health hazard?" You are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

I still believe that McBluster has some serious mental problems. You should really take some anger management classes.

As for proving that second-hand smoke has not killed an employee? That's proving a negative and that's impossible. But don't make my word for it, you try it: Prove that the Democratic Party in Michigan has never killed someone. Go ahead. I'm waiting.

Not Anonymous said...

The Surgeon Generals have not proven anything. They've made conclusions and offered their opinions, but have provided no scientific evidence of second hand smoke killing anyone, anywhere, ever.

Communications guru said...

“The Surgeon Generals have not proven anything?” Unbelievable. Republicans really hate science don’t they? It both kills and causes disease. Now, once again, I challenge you to provide scientific evidence that secondhand smoke is harmless. I guess I can go back to smoking again if it’s harmless.

How many times do I make this challenge, and how many times do you ignore it? Don’t give me this BS about proving a negative because you are making a claim; I challenge you to back it up,

Not Anonymous said...

Once again, you've lied and mischaracterized words spoken. Nobody that has answered any of your silliness on this topic (or any other topic for that matter) has said that second hand smoke is harmless. We've only said it hasn't been proven. It is up to you to prove it before making a law against it. There is ZERO proof. ZERO, ZIP, NADA. There are plenty of opinions, plenty of suppositions, even some assumptions, but ZERO proof.

Not Anonymous said...

I found the perfect illustration of what the owner of this blog is like:

The Biker
A biker is riding by the zoo, when he sees a little girl leaning into
the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket
and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her
screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square
on the nose with a powerful punch.
Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl,
and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him

A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter addressing the
biker says, 'Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do
in my whole life.'

The biker replies, 'Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind
bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right.'

The reporter says, 'Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a
journalist, you know, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the
front page.. So, what do you do for a living and what political
affiliation do you have?''

The biker replies, 'I'm a U.S. Marine and a Republican.' The journalist

The following morning the biker buys the paper to see if it indeed
brings news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:


Communications guru said...

I lied? Well then, if secondhand smoke is not harmless then why are you against this public health issue? There is more than 20 years of evidence from when the first Surgeon General’s report on secondhand smoke was issued in 1986 that said secondhand smoke is harmful and deadly. The medical evidence and scientific evidence in 22 years has proven that.

The scientific and medical evidence is there, but like a typical Republican you continue to deny it. Sad. By the way, who is “we, “anonymous troll?

The challenge is still there for you to show me any evidence that secondhand smoke is not harmful. Any doctor, scientific medical researcher” Just one.

Not only has the America's chief health educator said secondhand smoke is deadly, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen; saying Inhaling secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in nonsmoking adults (4). Approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Communications guru said...

That’s what is known in the business - and everywhere else - as bullshit, especially when you consider the media is conservative. No wonder you’re afraid to take ownership of the crap you write and post anonymously.

Communications guru said...

Wow, you’re really grasping for straws with the President Obamna smokes story, anonymous troll.

Why would the Democrats “be in a quandary” even if he did smoke? First, workplace smoking bans are bipartisan, like the one here in Michigan. Second, no one is trying to ban smoking, just smoking in workplaces.

The middle name has never been a problem, but people like you used the name B. Hussein Obama to try to scare people and link him to Saddam Hussein. He is the only president, or even candidate, referred to that way; first initial, middle name, last name.

When was the last time you heard a president referred to like that? Have you ever heard anyone ever say G. Walker Bush, W. Jefferson Clinton, R. Wilson Regain or J. Sydney McCain? Me neither.

Well, since you deny the mountain of scientific evidence that proves the harmful effects of secondhand evidence, you have no problem denying the science that proves global warning. That’s why Republicans hate science so much.

Caroline Kennedy would be an excellent choice to replace Sen. Clinton. Kennedy is an attorney, writer, editor, serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations and is director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education.

Not Anonymous said...

I have never heard him referred to as B. Hussein Obama. There was a big stink raised about using all three of his names. Even John McCain came out and said he didn't approve of it. As for other Presidents, perhaps you've heard of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, most often referred to as FDR. Or Harry S. Truman. Or JFK, LBJ. The initials seem to have dropped off since LBJ. Then of course, there was William Howard Taft. John Quincy Adams to distinguish him from his father John Adams.

As for the Presidents you mentioned, Yes, we did hear William Jefferson Clinton and even William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. President Reagan was sworn in as Ronald Wilson Reagan.

I looked back at previous posts prior to the election on your site. I haven't found even one where anyone referred to Obama as B. Hussein Obama. I did see plenty of references to Barach Hussein Obama which you became upset about going so far as to claim some where racist, if they were Republican or anti Muslim. But I have yet to find even one post where someone used B. Hussein Obama. You seem to have changed the actual statements again to fit your latest ranting. Not very honest of you. But then, I've come to expect a lack of honesty in every word you write. I'll just bet that you used to be a weather man (Not the 60's terrorist group, although I wouldn't be surprised) but rather the guys that come on TV and tell us what the weather will be like and never seem to get it right.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

There was "stink" raised about the emphasis put on his middle name, not about all 3 of his names. Coulter perpetuated this nonsense in an undisguised effort to equate him with Saddam Hussein. This led to many folks, myself included, incorporating his name into their online monikers.

The whining done by the right regarding their previous mistreatment of his name is coming to light again for the simple reason that Obama is sticking with tradition and being sworn in under his complete name.

There's no victim like a wing-nut victim.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Speaker of the House Andy Dillon, who is the casino industry's favorite puppet, successfully killed a Senate bill that would have outlawed smoking in all Michigan bars and restaurants.

Shame on you, Mr. Dillon. Why do you not care about the lives of working people?

Not Anonymous said...

I missed this earlier. Your comment:

Wow, you’re really grasping for straws with the President Obamna smokes story, anonymous troll.

Why would the Democrats “be in a quandary” even if he did smoke?

My response: Didn't you even know who you were voting for? He admitted to being a smoker during the campaign, then said he quit, then said that he has still has been smoking.

I find it unbelievable that you would even attempt to deny this on something that really doesn't matter very much.

I wonder how you feel about First Lady Laura Bush being a smoker...if she is that is.

Communications guru said...

Are you serious, anonymous troll? Come on. You have never heard of anyone referring to President Obama as B. Hussein Obama? How about hatemonger Ann Coulter or that nut job radio guy Cunningham. Here’s a link to your queen’s column where she uses it.

That’s a far cry from LBJ, FDR or JFK. Also, the use of his full name in every single reference was just one more attempt to try and scare people and link him to a dictator and Muslim terrorists. Well, if there’s a “lack of honesty in every word I write” it should be pretty easy to disprove what I write. Then why can’t you?

Right, I’m both a former TV weatherman and a former member of the Weather Underground. Never mind I was only 10 years old when they began; kind of like when rightwing tools tried to link President Obama to Bill Ayers, even though Obama was just 8 years-old. My profile is accurate.

No wonder you post anonymously.

Communications guru said...

Here’s what’s more accurate:
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, who is the tobacco industry's favorite puppet, successfully killed a House bill that would have outlawed smoking in all Michigan bars and restaurants.

It’s a House bill not a Senate bill, and the evidence backs up my description; yours doesn’t.

Communications guru said...

Wow, you’re still really grasping for straws with the President Obama smokes story, anonymous troll.

I know exactly who I voted for. I don’t give a rat’s ass if President smokes or not. He has said he has quit or trying to quit. As a smoker myself for 20 years, I know how difficult it is to quit.

I also don’t give a dam if Laura Bush smokes or not.

Communications guru said...

No, I don't loser.