TheDC Morning: Sanitation workers neglected snowpocalypse to protest Mayor Bloomberg

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) Will Paul Ryan’s ‘Road Map’ remain trapped in the glovebox? — The ‘Road Map’ that Rep. Paul Ryan devised when he saw that America was lost in the fiscal woods has received plenty of kudos over the years. Now that Republicans control the house, the bigger question is, Will anybody use it? “Passing the Road Map as part of the House budget would likely go nowhere in the Senate and would undoubtedly draw the president’s veto even if it made it to his desk,” writes The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward. “But it would be a conscious decision by Republicans to do more than say no to Obama’s plan, moving beyond mere opposition to advocating a vision of their own.” Reps John Boehner and Eric Cantor refused to comment when TheDC asked about the Road Map’s role in restoring America’s fiscal sensibilities. Doug Mainwaring, a Maryland Tea Party activist, was less reserved: “If the Republican leadership doesn’t get behind Mr. Ryan and actively promote the Road Map, I predict that Tea Partiers will be looking for a new crop of congressmen in 2012.”

2.) Sanitation workers neglected snowpocalypse to protest Mayor Bloomberg — “Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts — a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles,” reports the New York Post. Slammed by several feet of snow, New York City has turned into a classic example of a city whose government is incapable of meeting the basic requirements of governing. Now we know why: “They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important,” said Queens councilmember Dan Halloran, who was earlier “visited by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.” According to Halloran, “They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file.” Three cheers for public servants!

3.) List: The biggest tobacco lies of the year — Like Politifact, but better, blogger Michael Siegel made his own 2010 Lie of the Year Award, and will give it “to the anti-smoking group which disseminated the most egregious lie during 2010.” Who are the contenders? The Quit for Life Program claims a quit-smoking rate of 45%, but in reality, refused to follow up on survey participants who didn’t respond voluntarily. The Surgeon General’s office claims that brief exposures to second hand smoke can cause heart disease and cancer, but in reality, both of these diseases require years of exposure. And Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights claims that there is no difference between passive and active smoking, which is a complete and total lie. “If ANR were being truthful in claiming that passive smoking has virtually the same level of health effects as active smoking,” writes Siegel, “then there would be tens of thousands more deaths from secondhand smoke than we currently observe.” Make sure and read the entire lie-riddled list.

4.) Where will Lanny Davis pop up next? — If lobbying is poker, Lanny Davis just asked to be dealt out. “Davis, a well-connected Washington lobbyist who had recently come under fire for his work on behalf of President Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, announced Wednesday that he would resign from the assignment.” Davis knows what pressure feels like. He helped defend Clinton during the Lewinski scandal, and recently did some work on behalf of the for-profit college industry. But defending Gbagbo, who lost his reelection bid but is refusing to step down, was just too much. “In a letter of resignation submitted to Ivory Coast on Tuesday night, Mr. Davis wrote that he had tried unsuccessfully — and without official assistance from the United States — to facilitate a telephone call between President Obama and Mr. Gbagbo. But he said Mr. Gbagbo had refused.”

5.) Virginia Republican wants to bring an end to reefer madness — “GOP Delegate Harvey Morgan, an assistant clinical professor of pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, is sponsoring House Bill 1443, which would replace the criminal fine for pot possession with a civil penalty and eliminate the 30-day jail sentence and criminal record following conviction,” reports Toke of the Town, a marijuana reform blog. “HB 1443 would not change penalties for the ‘manufacture’ or distribution of marijuana. It would also continue to require drug screening and education for minors convicted of pot possession.” Morgan’s reasons are more practical than ideological. “In 2007, nearly 18,000 people were arrested in Virginia for simple possession of marijuana,” the lawmaker said. “This places a tremendous burden on law enforcement, prisons and the judicial system. In these times of economic hardship, we need to closely examine how our tax dollars are spent.”

6.) Merle Haggard feels real bad for Pres. Obama — Country legend Merle Haggard ain’t the type to throw stones. The Okie from Muskogee is no angel himself, after all. But that didn’t stop him from paying a rather back-handed compliment to Pres. Obama during an interview with Rolling Stone. “He’s not conceited. He’s very humble about being the President of the United States, especially in comparison to some presidents we’ve had who come across like they don’t need anybody’s help,” Haggard said when asked what he thought of Obama. He then went on to say, “I think he knows he’s in over his head. Anybody with any sense who takes that job and thinks they can handle it must be an idiot.” Oh, Merle!