From Washington Wire blog at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Sen. Jim Bunning, the Kentucky Republican who held Senate hostage over an unemployment bill earlier this month, is now causing trouble for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Bunning is blocking the confirmation of two trade nominees because, according to an aide, the USTR hasn’t done enough to defend Bunning’s home state against a Canadian antismoking law that “unfairly discriminates against Kentucky-grown tobacco.”

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Bunning said Tuesday he’s seen no progress in his talks with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk about Canada’s policy.


The two nominees are Michael Punke, picked to be U.S. ambassador and permanent representative to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, and Islam Siddiqui, nominated to be USTR’s chief agricultural negotiator.


Jim Bunning, far from being cowed by the national exposure of his recent effort to hold up unemployment benefits for millions of laid-off workers, is back at it in the Senate.

The Kentucky Republican battled Democrats on the Senate floor Tuesday to block two nominations to relatively backbench positions — because he is opposed to a tobacco-related law passed by the Canadian Parliament (that’s right, the Canadian Parliament).


“This is a perversion of the filibuster and a perversion of the role of the Senate. It used to be that the filibuster was reserved for matters of great principle,” said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) from the well of the Senate. “Some of my colleagues seem more interested in using every procedural method possible to keep the Senate from doing anything than they are in creating jobs or helping Americans struggling in a difficult economy.”


[The blocking  of Islam Siddiqui’s nomination to be Chief Agriculture Negotiator leaves the U. S.] at a trade disadvantage with other countries. A coalition of 42 food and agriculture groups wrote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in January to urge his confirmation.

The Senate is backed up with 88 unconfirmed nominees, 83 more than the Bush administration faced at this point in its tenure.

“I think you get the picture that this is a list of systematic efforts to undermine the ability of the executive branch to do its job,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), urging the nominees to be moved through if there are no real objections.

The continuing obstruction is building a Democratic case for reform of Senate rules. Even conservative Democrat Mark Warner (D-Va.) said on Tuesday that enough was getting close to becoming enough. “Some of the very safeguards that were created to make this a serious and responsible deliberative body have been abused in a way that damages this institution. In some instances, this abuse also runs contrary to our national interest,” he said.

(Video of Al Franken chastising Beanball Bunning is at THE HUFFINGTON POST link above)

This is what’s gotten Beanball Bunning’s granny panties in a wad (from October 8, 2009):

(Reuters) – Canada has banned the manufacture, importation and sale of most flavored cigarettes and small cigars, which have been slammed as little more than an enticement to get children to start smoking.


Anti-smoking groups said fruit-flavored cigarettes were marketed like candy to lure young smokers, but the industry complained the law was too broad and would unfairly restrict importation of U.S.-grown burley tobacco.

Lawmakers in U.S. tobacco-growing states have complained the law will cost U.S. jobs, and a U.S. Senator [guess who!] has been blocking the appointment of a White House trade official in a bid to make the Obama administration put pressure on Canada.

Anti-smoking groups say the jobs complaint is unfounded since Canada did not import any U.S.-grown burley tobacco in 2007 and 2008, and “American-style” cigarettes make up less than 1 percent of the Canadian market.

“The trade argument was invented out of thin air,” said Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society.


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31 responses to “Tobac-coercion

  1. writechic

    Bunning NEEDS to get that sand out of his vagina. Seriously.

    • 😆 too much time at the beach during spring break.

      • writechic

        Must be! 🙂

        Awesome poster, btw. Looks like you’ve caught Bunning’s best side, his evil side, the way he’s looming behind those little Canadian reprobates.

        • i figured it’s a-ok with him if little kids start smoking, just as long as kentucky tobacky farmers are making money, so i used that pic of him to reflect that. i wonder if he was actually saying ok to something when the pic was taken or if he was indicating the size of something (i will not venture a guess as to what that might be). i bet he’s getting paid under the table by the cancer brokers.

          glad you like the poster, melissa. this was a tough one because of the damned screen or beveling on the window. took me forever to get that to look right.

          • writechic

            I like vintage advertising, and you’re work looks effortless. When I grow up, I want to be a perfectionist. 🙂

            • writechic

              Shoulda went with “yer.” 😆

              • i love the old ads. i have to remember to try to use them more often. so many wonderful pictures! i was so tired when i was making this pic. i copied it to photobucket, then copied it here, looked at it in preview, and realized that i had left beanball bunning holding a purse. i tried to convince myself that it might not look like a purse, but it ate at me until i finally went back and fixed it. i’m not going to look at this version too closely, or i’ll find another dozen mistakes i hadn’t noticed before.

                (i feel you’re pain. i constantly make mistakes identical to yers. but what are yew gonna dew? where only hewman.)

  2. Dusty

    Bunning is a few bricks shy of a full load…but then so are most of the assholes in DC. His logic in this instance makes no sense….as per his usual.

    • you could build baseball stadiums with the amount of bricks beanball bunning is missing. the only problem is that he’d probably go in it just to hit people with baseballs. 😉

  3. Bunning is such an idiot, he thinks the South Park Movie is a documentary.

    • he’s just pissed off that those kids in south park aren’t smoking yet. except maybe kenny. maybe that’s what really killed him. those bastards!

  4. So he’s all bent out of shape because Canuckidies won’t smoke grape flavored Kentucky fags. Too bad. Any afficianado knows that the Virginia-Turkish blends rule the smoking world.

    • you think he’d be relieved. after all, with that horrible socialized medicine they have up there, the streets would be littered with sick, coughing kids.

  5. I’m all choked up…. must be the smoke & mirrors.

  6. What’s burley tobacco? I picture big, muscular leaves and large pores.

    Bunning has to take good care of his corporations… er, constituents.

    • i wondered the same thing, lulu, except i wondered if the tobacco was bearded like burl ives. after all, there is bearded wheat, so why not tobacco, too? 😉

  7. Unfairly. Targets. Kentucky. Tobacco.


    How, I wonder, did he manage to get his head that far up his butt, anyway?

    • funny how he never seems to think that any policyholders were unfairly targeted by insurance companies. it’s only the poor giant corporations (especially the ones killing people) who are worthy of beanball bunning’s empathy.

      • Well, the keyword is “unfair.” it’s perfectly fine when rich people and their corporations kill people.

        Make no mistake, he’s not out to help Joe the Tobacco Farmer … he’s after the big companies.

        Personal bias: Both of my grandfathers were killed by the tobacco industry. On my father’s side, it was heart disease. On my mother’s, it was lingering, painful, agonizing throat cancer.

        Papa told me once that he really believed all of those stories up through the 80’s about how there was no real evidence that smoking was bad for you. He was just about in tears as he was telling me that they’d lied, and he’d fallen for it.

        He was trying to make sure that I’d never start smoking. More than that, he instilled in me a fervent hatred for the industry — and, frankly, the people — who killed my grandfathers for money.

        • i was one of those hoodwinked by the meme that light cigarettes are not as bad for you as regular ones. what they didn’t tell you is that they put extra nicotine into them to make sure you were really hooked. i finally quit on august 5, 2003 after a 2-3 pack a day habit.

  8. darkblack, yoohoo! down here! if you want to hear about young people and their wild ways, you need to go to melissa’s blog (write chic press), where she’s been giving us a running commentary on spring break, as seen through her very own eyes.

  9. i used to think coburn and cornyn were the worst and most insane senators – but bunning takes the tobacco wad.

    if i were canada i would make the law tougher just to shove it up bunning’s ass.

    he really wants to go out with a bang — i wish the folks at cooperstown would throw him out of the baseball hall of fame

    what an ass