Friday, April 19, 2019

Tobacco Doesn't Pay McTurtle Enough Anymore For Him To Keep Turning America Into An Ashtray


Big Tobacco was once a much bigger player in congressional politics than it is now. As recently as 1990, the sector was handing out hefty bribes on a bipartisan basis. That year the tobacco companies gave $1,139,125 to Reoublicans and $1,012,249 to Democrats.That year the two top tobacco bribe takers were Senators Mitch McConnell ($60,650) and Jesse Helms ($57,280). Of the top 120 House members gobbling up money that allowed Big Tobacco to continue causing a cancer epidemic only ONE is still in the House: the stinking of corruption Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ($6,450).

Almost 2 decades later and it's a different picture. Now over half the Tobacco bribes go to Republicans. In 2018, they gave Republican campaigns $1,667,780 and Democrats just $628,839. In the House all their top bribery recipients were Republicans until you got down to the 12th biggest sleaze-ball, Kyrsten Sinema. So for last cycle only, here's the who's who whores of Big Tobacco in the House:
George Holding (R-NC)- $57,755
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $48,350
Tom Cole (R-OK)- $32,565
Mark Walker (R-NC)- $30,100
Robert Anderholt (R-AL)- $30,000
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)- $28,821
Kevin Yoder (R-KS)- $28,773
David Rouzer (R-NC)- $28,100
Steve Scalise (R-LA)- $27,805
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- $27,500
Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $26,850
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)- $26,800
The only other Democrats willing to inflict cancer-for-cash on their constituents by taking big Tobacco bribes were Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX), Cedric Richmond (New Dem-LA), James Clyburn (D-SC), Richard Neal (D-MA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Scott Peters (New Dem-CA), Val Demings (New Dem-FL), Don McEachin (New Dem-VA), Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), Lou Correa (Blue Dog-CA), Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA), Charlie Crist (Blue Dog-FL) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). No other Democrats took over $6,000.

In the Senate, these were the 10 top players tobacco bribees:
Tim Kaine (D-VA)- $63,963
Thom Tillis (R-NC)- $57,850
Mark Warner (R-VA)- $41,650
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- $34,600
Bill Nelson (D-FL)- $28,705
Marco Rubio (R-FL)- $24,500
Joe Manchin (D-WV)- $23,042
Bob Casey (D-PA)- $20,095
Luther Strange (R-AL)- $19,000
Jon Tester (D-MT)- $16,950
Raise your hand if you notice a correlation between corruption and conservative politicians. In terms of the whole period from 1990 to 2018 the half dozen biggest recipients of Tobacco bribes still in the House today:
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $190,850- $190,850
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)- $179,800
James Clyburn (D-SC)- $163,700
Hal Rogers (R-KY)- $154,802
George Holding (R-NC)- $153,782
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $143,400
And in the Senate, the big 6:
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $695,185

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- $640,075

Mark Warner (D-VA)- $270,167
Mitt Romney (R-UT)- $194,766
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)- $157,700
Roy Blunt (R-MO)- $146,257
If you read Alex Pareene's exhaustive piece on McTurtle in the New Republic last month, Nihilist In Chief, you already know that McConnell stands for nothing at all other than money. That's it-- just money. Nothing but money. That's who he is; what he is. Big Tobacco's not as big as it once was. So... time to throw them overboard. Yesterday, Burgess Everett reported for Politico, that McTurtle is running around saying raising the age to 21 for tobacco buyers is now a "top priority." He's even going to introduce the bill himself when they get back from spring break. There's no doubt that this wasn't polled and focus-group-tested back in Kentucky where he will face the voters next year. In fact, his move comes one day after he announced his reelection campaign and shows the changing politics of tobacco. While tobacco has long been a key industry in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell said he wants to change the law to discourage vaping and teenage nicotine addiction and improve Kentucky’s public health."
“Their vaping products … these young people may not know what chemicals they are putting in their bodies,” McConnell said in Louisville, Ky. “Far too often, 18-year-olds in high school can legally buy vaping devices and share them with their classmates.”

The move shows a tack toward pragmatic legislating for McConnell, who as Senate leader has primarily focused on confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees in recent weeks. But he said he will move to fast-track his new proposal, which mimics new state laws across the country that raise the tobacco purchasing age, and said his bill is part of moving the Bluegrass State away from the “tobacco culture” on which it was “so dependent, for so long.”

“I hope and expect this legislation to get strong bipartisan support in the Senate. As you know, I’m in a particularly good position to enact legislation and this will be a top priority,” McConnell said.

The GOP leader also said there will be an exception for members of the military.
That's sweet, but Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Donna Shalala (D-FL) beat him to it on Tuesday with their Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act on Tuesday, which raises the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Also on Tuesday, PBS did a story on the culpability of Big Tobacco in the ruination of health from a social perspective. "For state Medicaid plans, though, which pay a heavy price for tobacco-related illnesses, [tax day] can be a shot in the arm of sorts," wrote Charles Betley. "April 15 is also the day when the five largest tobacco companies pay $9 billion dollars to state governments, each and every year, forever, because of a 1998 legal settlement meant to compensate states for the costs of tobacco-related illness such as cancer, emphysema and heart disease. Actual payments made by the tobacco companies vary year to year because of adjustment factors written into the settlement; each of the states’ payments varies as well. Payments from tobacco companies, as well as tobacco taxes, help to support health care and other services for low-income people served by state Medicaid programs. Even though the federal government supports each state’s Medicaid program by paying at least half the costs, many states have difficulty finding revenues to pay the remaining share."

Call me crazy, but I always thought that it shouldn't just be tobacco companies' shareholders paying for this. They should pay plenty, of course. But senior management at these companies should be held personally liable as well-- especially since they all knew and covered it up for so many years-- and the politicians, like McConnell, who took so much in bribes to help with the coverup. Call me crazy.

All the Big Tobacco executives lied to Congress, under oath. So why didn't any of them go to prison?

Determining how much tobacco use costs states’ Medicaid programs puts the payments from tobacco companies into perspective. One estimate found 15% of nationwide Medicaid costs were caused by tobacco use. But such estimates based on national surveys may not account for which tobacco-related diseases are most prevalent in a particular state. How many of the state’s Medicaid participants smoke, and how hospitals and doctors are paid, also affect a state’s Medicaid costs.

...[W]e estimated that the cost of tobacco-related illness to Mississippi Medicaid was $388 million in 2016 and $396 million in 2017. This made up about 9% of Mississippi’s annual spending on Medicaid. Our estimates were somewhat lower than the national cost estimates of 15%. We believe this is because Mississippi Medicaid covers large numbers of children and younger adults-- a tobacco-related disease may appear only after many years of smoking.

Many Mississippi Medicaid participants may still be too young to be diagnosed with tobacco-related illnesses. Furthermore, our estimates only included diseases with measures of increased risks because of smoking that are presented in the medical literature or the 2014 surgeon general’s report. So, our estimates are relatively conservative.

We believe our study results will help policymakers in Mississippi assess the benefits of policies affecting tobacco. These could include increasing tobacco cessation services, raising the minimum age for buying tobacco products, raising taxes on tobacco products and requiring smoke-free public places. Our approach to estimating costs could also be used by other states to conduct their own analyses of tobacco-related costs to Medicaid to inform their policy choices.

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At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cherry-picking again as a form of sheepdoggery?

Here is near absolute truth herein: " McConnell stands for nothing at all other than money. That's it-- just money. Nothing but money. That's who he is; what he is." mcturtle also stands for hate, but money is his big thing.

But you can substitute names like Pelosi, hoyer, Clyburn, scummer, biden, $hillbillary and even obamanation and it becomes absolute truth. You can substitute the entire democrap party as an entity and it loses nothing in veracity.

Quit wasting time on someone you cannot affect in any way. fucking KY will elect that closeted pos from here until eternity. You cannot shame them by proving that he does not give a fuck about them... they don't care.

Quit condemning only one side when both sides are equally contemptible for the same reasons.

If your job is to keep the dumbest motherfuckers in the history of earth affirming their own ratfucking for the NEXT 40 years... well done.

If you view your job as trying to make something better, you're as big a failure at that as are Pelosi, mcturtle, trump and obamanation.

when "hope and change" became a tongue-in-cheek metaphor for "thank you sir, may I have another", you needed to change your tack or betray your real intentions. guess which you did.


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