Mayor Bloomberg: Let’s mandate tobacco be “out of sight” in stores

The control freak mayor of NYC is trying to strike again. Via CNN:

(CNN) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his latest push to keep tobacco products out of sight is an attempt to de-glamorize the appeal of the product for kids and teenagers.

“Smoking is going to kill these kids,” he said Monday on CNN’s “The Lead” in an interview with Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper. “It’s going to leave them with not the great career prospects that you’d like, not the education that you’d like.”

The mayor said they’re trying to dissuade customers from viewing cigarettes as “normal.”

“Cigarettes are not a normal product,” he added. “They’re a product that kills the people that use it. And there are very few products like that.”

Bloomberg announced the public health initiative earlier Monday, a week after a New York judge invalidated the city’s ban on sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.

The new tobacco legislation is made up of two bills: One that would require retailers to keep tobacco products hidden in stores, another would increase penalties for retailers who sell tobacco without a license or fail to pay tobacco taxes. It would also prohibit the sale of discounted tobacco products.

The three-term mayor said Monday the new bills are designed to continue New York City’s record in reducing smoking.

Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro comments:

Despite Bloomberg’s intense efforts to continue curbing young people’s smoking habit, the youth rate has remained the same since 2007, at 8.5 percent. Bloomberg’s proposal will be taken up at the City Council meeting on Wednesday.


Bloomberg denied that his primary motivation was monetary: “People always say, ‘Oh, you’re doing these health things to raise money. No, that is not the reason. We’re doing these health things to save lives.”

It is surely only a matter of time before Bloomberg begins cracking down on the soaring sexually transmitted disease rate in his city by restricting personal sexual behavior, dictating sexual partners, and mandating the use of contraception.

I wouldn’t put it past him.

Aren’t tobacco products already restricted to people 18 years and older nationwide? If youth smoking is such an issue in NYC, why not, for starters, crack down on stores selling tobacco products to underage teens?   And if there is a “black market” for cigarettes, crack down on those, too. I know, makes too much sense for nanny state extremists like Bloomberg to understand …

#Shocking: Pew study finds 85% of #MSDNC’s content to be opinion commentary

My first thought on this was “only 85%”? Via Politico:

MSNBC offers viewers far more commentary and opinion than either Fox News or CNN, according to a new study, but all of the big three cable networks are increasingly focused on partisan talk and debate.

Opinion filled 85 percent of the content on MSNBC, according to the Pew Research Center’s 2013 State of the News Media report. On Fox News, commentary made up 55 percent of its coverage, while CNN was the only of the big three cable news channels to produce more straight reporting than opinion. Even so, story packages and daytime live event coverage on CNN was cut down by about half between 2007 and 2012, the report found.

In its study of the cable networks in late 2012, Pew reported that commentary and opinion was “far more prevalent on the air” than straight news reporting, with 63 percent of the airtime devoted to talk compared to 37 percent dedicated to reporting. CNN’s coverage was made up of 54 percent reporting compared to 46 percent opinion, while MSNBC had just 15 percent reporting. Fox News, meanwhile, fell between the two with 55 percent commentary and 45 percent reporting.

Overall, the cable news landscape has undergone a major shift as “daytime programming now resembles primetime, with interviews and opinion replacing coverage of live events and breaking news,” the report stated. Interview segments are up 31 percent from 2007 to 2012, while live event coverage dropped 30 percent.

And more broadly, the report “pinpoints multiple signs of shrinking reporting power” across the media spectrum. There are now fewer than 40,000 employees working in newspaper newsrooms, the lowest since 1978, and estimates for newsroom cutbacks puts employment down 30 percent since its peak in 2000, Pew reported. On local TV news, coverage of government and politics has been cut in half, with sports, weather and traffic now making up 40 percent of the content for viewers. And about one in three people, or 31 percent, said they stopped going to a particular news outlet because they felt it no longer offered them the news they were used to getting.

“This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands,” the report said.

According to Pew, that shift was best represented by the 2012 presidential election. Campaign reporters, Pew wrote, “acted more as megaphones, rather than as investigators of the assertions put forward by the campaigns.”

MediaTruer words were never spoken …

In any event, the MSDNC information from this study should be an eye opener for all those anti-“Faux News” types who routinely try to paint Fox News as the only “blatantly biased network out there” — but, sadly, it won’t.   HISS (Head In Sand Syndrome) is quite widely spread among liberal elitists who Know Better Than You when it comes to issues like media bias masquerading as “straight reporting.”  Remember, they’re the ones who have, for decades, tried to lump in opinion pages and programming (like the WSJ op/ed page and Rush) with “straight news” outlets like Fox News to prove that there is more “conservative media bias” than liberal bias.  This, in spite of the fact that there is a distinct difference in opinion publishing and programming versus straight news publishing and programming.  This Pew study makes the distinction conservatives have been making for decades between “opinion/commentary” and “straight news reporting” but the left and other notoriously knee-jerk hate-Fox types like the clueless wonders at Media Matters and Think Progress will continue to not let facts get in the way of a good ol’ fashioned fact-free rant.  You know how the old saying goes: You can lead a donkey to water but you can’t make him drink it.

Or something like that …..

The greatest issue facing America: a cruise-ship passengers’ bill of rights

**Posted by Phineas

And Chuck Schumer is on the case:

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the cruise ship industry to adopt a “bill of rights” to guarantee passengers certain protections while aboard their ships.

The New York Democrat says Sunday he’ll be asking industry leaders to voluntarily adopt the guidelines which include guarantees that ships have sanitary conditions, back-up power, medical staff and other standard procedures.

Schumer’s plan would also include the right to a full refund if a trip is abruptly canceled due to mechanical problems.

And thus we see the modern Democratic Party’s priorities in action: no budget from the Senate in more than 1,400 days? Bah! The threat of a nuclear-armed Iran or North Korea? Don’t waste my time! Food-stamp usage at an all-time high while labor force participation is at a record low? Small potatoes, friend.

No, as we see from the senior senator from New York’s example, what really matters is grandstanding whenever possible and wherever cameras and mics are available, so that you can pretend you’re fighting for the little guy and convince enough saps to vote for you again.

This also shows the different mindset of the limited government advocates on the one hand, and the statists on the other.

Limited Government Advocate:

“A company that provides poor service will eventually put itself out of business, and those who feel harmed by it have access to the civil courts. Annoying as these incidents are, it’s really none of the federal government’s business, and we should get back to tending to what properly is.”


“This is an outrage! People need our protection against evil corporations; the government must do something! What? They already have redress under the law? They can take their business elsewhere? Insufficient! We must pass new laws, because that’s what we’re here for — to pass laws! Not in our purview? Nonsense! We’ll pass a law to make it our business! Call a press conference!”

Is it any wonder people are disenchanted with our political class, when so many of them ignore the real problems we face and instead go chasing butterflies?

via Liberty Unyielding

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Quote of the Day: Obama really is the second FDR edition

**Posted by Phineas

They made and broke the same promises:

FDR deficit history Obama

Compare that to this statement by the Man Who Would Be FDR:

“This is big,” wrote White House director of new media Macon Phillips in a February 23, 2009 blog post, ”the President today promised that by the end of his first term, he will cut in half the massive federal deficit we’ve inherited. And we’ll do it in a new way: honestly and candidly.”

Indeed, President Obama did make that promise that day, saying, “today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we’ve long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay — and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”

The 2013 budget the president submitted today does not come close to meeting this promise of being reduced to $650 billion for fiscal year 2013.

Few remember today that Roosevelt ran to the right of Hoover on spending, decrying government that “costs too much.” Obama, in his turn, promised to go through the budget “line by line” to make D.C. more frugal.

In other words, both took over from presidents who had already expanded government and increased spending, both promised to get the budget under control, and both broke those promises to instead grow government and government spending massively.

Time was right: Obama really is the second FDR.

Time cover FDR Obama

FDR graphic via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)