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Sick Priorities

Forty-seven million Americans don't have health insurance, and 8.7 million of them are children according to just-released census data. The numbers signal a disturbing trend: the number of uninsured are rising (even as the median income rises) and still President Bush is vocal in his opposition to expanding a program that could extend insurance to 5 to 6 million children, by levying higher taxes on tobacco products.

McConnell opposes children's health bill. Follow the money.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in an unexpected move, came out opposed to the bipartisan children's health insurance bill yesterday.


His opposition to the bill puts the health insurance of 102,430 Kentucky children at risk.


Meet the old boss, same as the new boss

We've already said it, but now the Palm Beach Post is saying it in an editorial detailing how the election of Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) is not exactly a breath of fresh air. After going through Boehner's history of passing out tobacco checks, the paper notes:

The Boehner ad

Cold. Hard. Cash.

We've also posted a of Boehner's likeness to the disgraced Majority Leader he replaces, Tom DeLay. Feel free to circulate:

The Facts on John Boehner (R-OH)

1. Like Tom DeLay, John Boehner has close ties to K Street

DeLay Quits Leadership Post

Here's the AP story.

Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay decided Saturday to give up his post as House majority leader, clearing the way for new leadership elections among House Republicans eager to shed the taint of scandal, two officials said.


The Congressman from Philip Morris and UPS

In June 2003 Roy Blunt inserted a provision benefiting Philip Morris in the 475-page bill creating the department of Homeland Security bill, according to a report in the Washington Post. At the time, Blunt had accepted more than $150,000 over just two years from PACs affiliated with the company.

DeLay and Drug Companies: Best Friends Forever

"It's not hard to put a dollar figure on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's importance to corporate America," write Bloomberg News' Michael Forsythe and Jonathan D. Salant. "For drug makers, his support is worth $13 billion; for petrochemical companies, it could be as much as $375 billion.

Blunt unfit to be next Majority Leader

Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) defended DeLay on Meet the Press recently (registration required for link):

My impression is he has not done anything wrong.

He's in denial. He doesn't deserve to be in leadership of the House. All he passes is a loyalty test. And he's got a shady past with big tobacco campaign money.

Maybe We Chose the Wrong Career?

Bloomberg News reports today:

One of the surest paths to riches in Washington is to have these five words on a resume: "Office of Representative Tom DeLay."

Why did DeLay push a pro-tobacco amendment in an anti-terrorism bill?

The Daily DeLay: T-Minus 8 days and Counting
DeLay Uses 9-11 Bill to Try to Payback Big Tobacco

In October 2001, DeLay added a provision to anti-terrorism legislation that would have prevented foreign governments from recouping billions from tobacco companies in lost revenues and damages.

What tobacco companies' interests had to do with post 9-11 anti-terrorism legislation is still unclear.