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Stogie News: Washington, District of Insanity

9 Jan 2007

I’m a big fan of Washington, DC. After all, it’s my adopted home. Despite all the pockets of crime, the corruption, and a never-ending supply of power-hungry douchebags, the nation’s capital really is a wonderful city. The dynamic people, the history, the nightlife, the opportunity – it’s all here for the taking.

But, often due to the moronic government it houses (both national and local), Washington more frequently stands as a monument to politicians’ fallibility and mismanagement than it does to American ingenuity and freedom. Take these two recent, tobacco-related stories, for example:

U.S. CapitolA city-wide smoking ban (except for politicians)

As we reported in our latest Friday Sampler, DC’s fascist smoking ban went into effect on January 2.

The ban – which squelches freedom of choice in all restaurants, offices, bars, and nightclubs – includes an exemption for a few questionable locales: the ornate Speaker’s Lobby in the Capitol Building and all offices of senators and representatives.

So, basically, it’s OK to smoke indoors – as long as you’re a power-wielding politician.

Interestingly, new Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated she plans to extend the ban to cover those locations. This is ironically one of the few issues on which I agree with Madame Speaker (and the only instance you’ll find me supporting a smoking ban).

If the good people of the nation’s capital can’t light up, the fat cats on The Hill shouldn’t be able to either.

Adrian FentyWhat’s 14 percent between friends?

The DC ban also includes an exemption for businesses that suffer a five percent decrease in revenue due to the law – a scenario that’s quite likely, especially given Virginia’s tolerance of smokers.

But newly sworn-in Mayor Adrian Fenty is hinting that he wants to raise that threshold to 15 percent. Apparently the young politician considers a crippling 14 percent drop in revenue insufficient to warrant restoring property rights to the business owner.

The move is winning Fenty accolades from anti-smoking zealots and self-interested “health advocates,” but we’ll see how well his popularity holds up when Washington businesses start closing their doors.

Patrick A


8 Responses to “Stogie News: Washington, District of Insanity”

  1. UTRobin Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 5:00 am #

    Interesting. It's never just a smoking ban — there's always a few ins and outs that complicate things.

    The question is, if the DC government thinks the smoking ban could hurt businesses, why did they enact it in the first place?

    It's like robbing someone on the street and then leaving them some change.

  2. Cigar McGee Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 5:25 am #

    Patrick A, your bio says you live in Alexandria, not DC. Liar!


  3. Patrick A Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 5:28 am #

    Well, arent' we splitting hairs this morning?

    For those who don't know, Alexandria, VA is right across the river from Washington.

    But thanks for reading my profile, McGee.

  4. Patrick S Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 5:33 am #


    You raise a good point…

    All throughout the smoking ban fight in DC, the anti-tobacco activists told us that the ban was good for businesses.

    Now that some businesses are being hurt (shocking huh?) they want to make them hurt even more before allowing them to get an exemption that shouldn't even be necessary in the first place.

    Ahh, the logic of zealots.

  5. Sam Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 7:05 am #

    Go figure – they can smoke in their offices but nobody else can smoke indoors for any reason.

  6. Jerry @ Stogie Revie Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 7:35 am #

    Being a resident of DC for most of my life I always found it annoying for those who worked or played in DC to say they were from DC.

    Now that my wife and I live in the suburbs of MD, I've learned that its a lot easier to say you are from DC than to say Germantown MD. Geographically people can identify with where DC is more than Germantown MD. Plus, a little history, DC was made up of property that was once part of Virginia and Maryland so its my belief that DC can be claimed as home to anyone in MD & VA.

  7. Mikey Ravioli Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 9:25 am #

    Haha You said douchebag!


Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie Guys Friday Sampler XXVI - Friday, January 12, 2007

    […] 3) Earlier this week we reported that Nancy Pelosi, the new Speaker of the House, was planning to ban smoking in the capitol and already it’s done. But an interesting twist is that while she banned smoking in the Speaker’s Lobby, where members of Congress congregate during votes, all the offices of the members are exempted. […]