This Just In: Smoking = Bad

The U.S. Surgeon General warned today that smoking may be is harmful to everybody’s health — even the passive second-hand smoker.

Yes, I also forgot that we actually have a Surgeon General, and no it’s not Michael Chertoff, but, per Reuters, Surgeon-General Richard Carmona has been hard at work and has this conclusion: “Second-hand smoke clearly kills people and the only way to control it is to ban all smoking in workplaces.” There’s even this video, for yr health.

Granted, I was born in 1975 and have recently been corrupted by the relatively tobacco-free California public environment, but I can’t recall EVER witnessing smoking IN workplaces. Either Carmona is “involuntary smoking” something else, or Karl Rove has him up to something involving uber-sketchy subliminal (and carcinogenic) smokescreens.

Either the SG is dreaming up something for the useless FEMA to tackle, i.e. taking cigarettes out of ever-breaking workers as they stand by the dumpster with their stinky treats, or banning cigarettes is the administration’s first step to combat global warming. As far as I can remember, it would at least be this administration’s first recognition of anything in the air being bad for the innocent human breather.

At the very least, this should bring heated debate to Congress, not on the ills of smoking, but why ever anyone would dare suggest that our elected representatives forgo between-votes smokey treats, right John Boehner? (The halls of Congress are in fact exempt from the D.C. citywide smoking ban that went in effect in March 2006).

Be assured we are on our way to a world in which nobody can freely smoke cigarettes and, more importantly, nobody will be forced to die a slow death in the tar-laced puff-clouds of their colleagues. Indeed, only three months ago Congress saw this tobacco-related bill to pass:

H.R. 3199: “To extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes.”

Dr. Surgeon General, care to tell us anything we don’t already know?

Indeed, the Patriot Act Reauthorization Bill gets back at the tobacco lobbies in the most world-saving of ways:

“….Requires any contraband cigarettes or smokeless tobacco seized and forfeited to be either destroyed or used for undercover investigative operations”

Dick: The Dark Side

PBS Frontline aired Dick Cheney: “The Dark Side” on Tuesday and it can now be viewed in its entirety on their Web site. Frontline cemented itself as THE premiere newsmagazine, imo, with 2004’s Rumsfeld’s War. Only a matter of time before we hear the d-word — that is if we even get to know ahead of time. I just wonder how long until we realize that we’re the butt of all the jokes and lies. It is, as Marty Kaplan writes, like George W. mocking Jon Stewart’s imitation of George W’s heartless chuckle. anyway, the Dark Side – with an all-star cast including Tenet, Libby, and of course, Darth Cheney himself, how can you skip it?

RJ Matson for the St. Louis Dispatch, 062206