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Tilting at Windmills

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January 4, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

UNDER MINED....What's the story behind the story of the tragedy at the Sago Mine? At least part of it is predictable: after George Bush took office in 2001 the Mine Safety and Health Administration was stocked with coal mining executives who were distinctly less interested in mine safety than they should have been. Clara Bingham told the story in "Under Mined," in the January 2005 issue of the Washington Monthly:

Coal executives, threatened by Vice President Al Gore's green background and his pledge to increase taxes on fossil fuels, thought they could get a better deal with the Republicans when they raised a record $3.8 million dollars for the 2000 federal election, 88 percent went to the GOP. At the annual meeting of the West Virginia Coal Association a few months after Bush's inauguration, the group's director told 150 industry executives, You did everything you could to elect a Republican president. [Now] you are already seeing in his actions the payback.

....Bush also demonstrated his friendship to industry leaders when he awarded the top job at MSHA to an executive with Utah's Energy West Mining Company, David Lauriski, whose top two deputies would also be recruited from mining companies. The woman who would become their boss, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, is the wife of Kentucky's Republican senator Mitch McConnell, a long time political ally of coal companies.

Bingham's story is primarily about Jack Spadaro, who was hounded out of his job as superintendent of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy after he became a whistleblower on an investigation into a coal waste leak in Kentucky. Read the whole thing.

Kevin Drum 12:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (98)

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Who's going to file the wrongful death lawsuits? Bush and these greedy mining companies have blood on their hands.

http://nytimes.com/2006/01/04/national/04cnd-mine.html?ei=5094&en=79bd89da1524032c&hp=&ex=1136437200&partner=homepage&pagewanted=all

Federal inspectors fined the Sago mine more than $24,000 for roughly 202 violations in 2005, according to federal records.

The total monetary figure is likely to rise substantially because the federal mine-safety agency has yet to put a dollar figure on some citations.

The most serious of these citations are 16 "unwarrantable failure orders," which are problems that an operator knows exist but fails to correct.

Thirteen of these orders were issued in the past six months, federal records show.

"Under the Bush administration, the citing of unwarrantable failures has gone down dramatically," said Tony Oppegard, a top federal mine official in the Clinton administration and a former prosecutor of mine-safety violations in Kentucky. "So to see a rash of unwarrantable failures under this administration is a telling sign of a mine with serious safety problems."

Inspectors found dangerous accumulations of coal dust, which can be explosive. Other citations dealt with ventilation and firefighting equipment violations.

Since June, the mine has experienced 15 roof falls or wall collapses, with three causing injuries to miners, according to federal records. That is an unusually high number, Mr. Oppegard said, "and it's indicative of roof-control problems."

Asked about the violations on Tuesday, Mr. Hatfield said the mine's "bad history" had occurred before his company took it over last year, adding that dramatic improvements had been made since then.

Posted by: Rad Racer on January 4, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Kevin Drum: 10 coal miners die. George Bush is to blame.
Don't you ever get tired of blaming George W Bush for everything?

Posted by: Al on January 4, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

It's a miracle! Al has resurrected two of the twelve dead miners!

(Stay tuned for updates.)

Posted by: Grumpy on January 4, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, now the death of miners is Bush's fault. Glad to know we're having discourse on a reasonable level.

Don't you ever get tired of blaming George W Bush for everything?
Well, let's see. Bush is responsible for global warming which caused hurricane Katrina. But I was never clear about his connection to the rash of big hurricanes in the 30's. There was no doubt a theory about a temporal anomaly whereby the future existence of George W Bush caused a temporary spike in global warming, or something equally bizarre.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

The other day, Steve Benen wrote a post bemoaning the inability of Democrats to come up with a ten word summary of their world view.

I think that really misses the point. People don't think in terms of 10 word world view summaries. They think in terms of anecdotes, some real, some made up, little parables that tell a political story.

And there seems to be good reason to believe that this tragedy was preventable by better safety measures.

What political party might actually implement truly effective safety measures, with the people foremost in mind, not the companies? It's pretty obviously the Democrats, a point easy for the public to accept because it fits well with their preconceptions.

And please don't lecture me about not exploiting tragedies like this for political purposes. It is only politics, in particular Democratic politics, that might prevent tragedies like this in the future. Only government can address this problem, because only government has an inherent interest in the public good.

It is those who DON'T want to draw the correct political lessons from such tragedies (as was true with Katrina and Iraq) who clearly don't care about the tragedy itself. It is THEY who will do NOTHING to stop the policies behind those tragedies, because it conflicts with their politics.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

$24k for 202 violations?! I'll bet those mining companies are quaking at the thought of a $120 fine...

Posted by: sean on January 4, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Lauriski, you're doin' a heckuva job!

Posted by: demondeac on January 4, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Not when he's responsible for staffing the department that should have prevented this occurance, no.

Don't you get tired of shilling for George Bush?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 4, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck trying to win 2006 on the platform of not killing miners of West Virginia by strengthening MSHA.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 4, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, now the death of miners is Bush's fault. Glad to know we're having discourse on a reasonable level.

Please RTFA before posting.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on January 4, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

What is that old saying? "You always dance with them's that brought you". Might be "bought you" now.

Posted by: DILBERT DOGERT on January 4, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Not when he's responsible for staffing the department that should have prevented this occurance, no.
Oh, so mommy government is supposed to be responsible for the actions of all companies in the US. Wonderful. State control of business.

Didn't somebody already try that?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

The sad truth is that the whole nation is now working in an under-inspected and under-regulated environment and the weakest among us are simply the canaries.

There is much harm which needs to be undone.

Posted by: stumpy on January 4, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck trying to win 2006 on the platform of not killing miners of West Virginia by strengthening MSHA.

It's one political parable. Katrina was another. Iraq is still another. Eons ago, it was 9/11, going the other direction.

In case you missed it, Bush's approval numbers are still in the toilet. Unless he can change the parables, that's where they're going to stay.

I don't think Reagan won just because he or his people made up stories about welfare queens, but it was one story in a tapestry that DID do the trick.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Please RTFA before posting.
Why? Nobody reads my links. I get to assume it unalloyed moonbattery just like y'all assume my links are unalloyed wingnuttery.

That's the way it's done around here.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

What conspiracy nut refuses to acknowledge is that corporate America resists acting responsibily and, for its own good, must be restrained.

Posted by: stumpy on January 4, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody remember the Kursk. And the pathetic condition of the Russian submarine fleet? Was anyone in the Kremlin held responsible?

Posted by: ppk on January 4, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

It is those who DON'T want to draw the correct political lessons from such tragedies (as was true with Katrina and Iraq) who clearly don't care about the tragedy itself.

Jesus, their bodies are just barely out of the ground, and y'all are already looking for ways to cast blame? Wasn't the Left also (quite properly, I thought) telling everyone after 9/11 (and Oklahoma) that we shouldn't be so quick to blame preferred groups until we were absolutely sure who did it? I hate Bush too, but there's something goulish about immediately pinning the blame on him. Maybe it was his fault, but this wasn't my first reaction to the disaster; I try to compartmentalize my loathing for the administration.

I'm open to the argument that stronger regulations could have prevented this, and I have no moral objection to stronger regulations (unlike some idiots, I think workplace safety laws *help* the free market), but my, y'all researched this pretty quickly. Kevin is usually more reasonable than this.

Posted by: neoliberal on January 4, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, now the death of miners is Bush's fault. Glad to know we're having discourse on a reasonable level.

Nice straw man you have there, nut. The post is about the negative effect of cronyism on the safety of mine workers. Read often?

Posted by: mr. ziffel on January 4, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Ziffel
It's about Bush's cronyism. To wit:

Bush also demonstrated his friendship to industry leaders...
Read often?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, so mommy government is supposed to be responsible for the actions of all companies in the US. Wonderful. State control of business. Didn't somebody already try that? Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:37 PM

You've convinced me, let's start by disbanding the FDA.

Lord knows how much worse food and medicine quality got once the government got involved.

Yeah, things were much, much better before when only business interests determined the safety and quality of our food and drugs.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 4, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's a miracle! Al has resurrected two of the twelve dead miners!

Not nearly as impressive as the MSM resurrecting 12 last night. I got to watch as CNN interviewed one of the children of a "rescued" miner by phone, and how overjoyed they were that he was "alive". The reporters kept waiting for all of the ambulances to rush by to the hospital. I went to bed. I can't imagine how the real news of their deaths was finally aired.

But of course I should take the NY Time's entire article at face value, no questions, as entirely accurate.

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 4, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I would agree that it was a fault of Bush if you could show the evidence of a direct link between the actions of the President and the deaths of these minors, something like a blue dress.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Lord knows how much worse food and medicine quality got once the government got involved.
Ya, because the Lord knows that people can't take any responsibility for themselves. Only politicians know what people need.

I can understand your low opinion of people, you probably hang out with Democrats.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

All right! I get another imposter, one of the standard debating techniques of the moonbat.

I'm so proud, I'd like to thank my mother, and my father...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus, their bodies are just barely out of the ground, and y'all are already looking for ways to cast blame?

And when DO you press the politics behind the tragedy? When just about everybody in America has pretty much forgotten about it?

IF you want to change policies behind tragedies, you make your case when people are thinking about it, and moved by it. THAT is when the point needs to be reinforced, when the connection needs to be established.

If you're not able to bring yourself to make that point at that time, maybe you don't REALLY want to change anything, you know? Because that is true effect of waiting, like a "reasonable person", until every last fact is in, and people are much, much calmer.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

And when DO you press the politics behind the tragedy? When just about everybody in America has pretty much forgotten about it?

More than once folks have accused of Bush using 9/11 in such a manner.

Politics? Sure, if it's only about winning. Emotions are high and you can bypass the critical thinking apparatus, and it can be used as a wedge to move people if spun correctly. By either side.

Policy? No. Let cooler heads prevail and analyze.

Posted by: Red State Mike on January 4, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

More than once folks have accused of Bush using 9/11 in such a manner.

Accurately, I might add.

Politics? Sure, if it's only about winning. Emotions are high and you can bypass the critical thinking apparatus, and it can be used as a wedge to move people if spun correctly.

Policy? No. Let cooler heads prevail and analyze.

Actually, Mike, we already did, which is why we have mine safety regulations in the first place. Bush's cronyism has weakened those regulations. Sadly but not surprisingly, a tragedy results. The Republicans can and should be held responsible for the inevitable negative outcomes of their policy.

It's hardly bypassing the critical thinking apparatus to connect the dots here. To the contrary, it's you (and the strawman-spinning c.n.) who are bypassing the critical thinking apparatus in defending this Administration's obvious corruption and incompetence.

Posted by: Gregory on January 4, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

The first thought that went through my mind when I heard about this mining accident was 'who has GWB put in charge of mine safety'? I really didn't think there would be yet another crony appointed. No, I guess GWB isn't directly responsible for the accident but I sure wish he would lie about a blow job so we can finally get rid of that asshole.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 4, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

How many more Bush cronys will have to screw up before republicans can connect the dots?

Posted by: WhoSays on January 4, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Ziffel
It's about Bush's cronyism. To wit:

Bush also demonstrated his friendship to industry leaders...

What you originally wrote:

Damn, now the death of miners is Bush's fault.

Who said the death of the miners is Bush's fault?

Read what you write much?

Posted by: mr. ziffel on January 4, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Al, conspiracy nut, etc.: Kevin actually put forth the data showing that Bush policies were indeed responsible for abetting what happened, and all you shrubbotic clunks put forth is pissy gripes about blaming Bush. Go to hell, you are supporting a guy who doesn't really care about human life (unless it hasn't really become a person yet.)

Posted by: Neil' on January 4, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Simple question, CN: Was food and drug safety better before or after government involvement?

Do you have the guts to actually answer the question or are you a coward and duck it with more trollish fluff?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 4, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Geez Nut, we got burn bans here in Texas. Enough with the strawmen already. You're a real hazard.

Posted by: ckelly on January 4, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Read what you write much?
All the time, do you engage in linear thinking much? It almost seems a shame to have to point out the incredibly obvious, but here goes:

Bush -> Bush cronyism -> coal mining executives who were distinctly less interested in mine safety -> death of miners

Since it's a straight path, I can only assume that the multiple steps were beyond you. I bet you voted for Kerry.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Those cronies at MSHA are doing a heckuva job.

Posted by: troqua on January 4, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

>>I would agree that it was a fault of Bush if you could show the evidence of a direct link between the actions of the President and the deaths of these minors, something like a blue dress.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: FirefighterMarc on January 4, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

OOPS, meessed up posting......

>>I would agree that it was a fault of Bush if you could show the evidence of a direct link between the actions of the President and the deaths of these minors, something like a blue dress.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my God. You have got to be kidding me (imagine me doing my best John McEnroe imitation). Equating Bush's potential political culpability for lax enforcement of safety regulations to Clinton lying about getting a BJ?!?!?!?!?! These things are not even in the same universe when it comes to the implications for me and my family.

Posted by: FirefighterMarc on January 4, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it just funny how bent out of shape all the righties here get when it looks like Democrats might try to "exploit a tragedy", when they have done so, to great effect, for the past four years?

Learn to take some of your own medicine, OK?

And, predictably, we have Democrats turning up here, and telling us, oh no, we can't do such a thing, that would be so crassly partisan at such a sensitive moment.

No wonder we can't seem to win even when we should.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 4, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, some of you are thick.

Let's see if we can go slow for some of the Bush appologists-

If you don't spend money to upkeep levees because you'd rather cut taxes and go to war, yes, they break. Is the hurricane Bush's fault? No. But the consequences sure are.

If you let federal saftey regulations slide because the owners of the mines give you money for your campaign, and then an accident happens in one of those mines, the accident is not Bush's fault. But the lax regulations are.

It's always the same. Let the working people deal with the death and destruction (mines, levees breaking, fighting in wars of choice, not OUR choice of course)while the Repulicans cut taxes get away with murder.

You are a buch of sad, little men.

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Think that before people try to take traction with this story they should read Lauriski's record as director of MSHA.
"David D. Lauriski is the seventh Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 9, 2001. Under this Administration, the mining industry has achieved the lowest number of mine fatalities since statistics were first recorded in 1910. Mining fatalities dropped 34 percent between 2000 and 2003."
One major lost is trying to get the Miner Drug test law passed in Kentucky that was fought by the union because: " Labor and industry generally support pre-employment and random drug tests, tests of some miners after accidents and tests when "reasonable suspicion" exists of drug use.

But they say state mining regulators have offered no details about who would pay for the tests, whether everyone working in a mine would be tested after a serious accident, and what sanctions would be imposed on miners who fail a screening."

So instead we continue to end up with shafts full of dead people all getting their benefits.

Posted by: sinop85 on January 4, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

duck it with more trollish fluff?
What trollish fluff?

Was food and drug safety better before or after government involvement?
Well, you kinda have to lament the passing of snake oil. An entire institution wiped out. Steve Earle did a wonderful song about it (about snake oil, not the wiping out of the institution).

But you do ask a reasonable question. I actually approve of my tax dollars being spent on the FDA. They're a little overzealous, but they have to make themselves look important. I also approve of my tax dollars being spent on the EPA (which will probably surprise you) (and ditto on the overzealous and looking important). I can't think of anything else not enumerated in the Constitution that I approve of, but there may be.

But at no point do I absolve people taking responsibility for their own lives and well being. And at no point am I stupid enough to think that Bush, or anyone he appointed, is responsible for the deaths of these miners.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Methinks the righties doth protest too much...talk about paranoia! The story Kevin links to came out a year ago, so it doesn't accuse anybody of anything in regards to this tragedy, and Kevin simply points out that the cronyism we've seen at so many agencies took place at MSHA too. No conclusions drawn, none really even inferred. But starting with the history of how these many violations were handled or not would sure be a good start, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Bruce K on January 4, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Look, cn, saying Bush's policies bear some responsibility for the deaths of the miners is different from saying Bush is directly responsible. The fact that you can't see that difference or agree that the former is true, is due to your blind worship of the steely-eyed rocketman.

Think much?

Posted by: mr. ziffel on January 4, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you kinda have to lament the passing of snake oil.

What passing? Republicans have been doling out plenty of it for years.

Posted by: Gregory on January 4, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

If you don't spend money to upkeep levees
The levees were improperly constructed, not improperly maintained. You really need to learn about stuff before commenting. Google is your friend.

You are a buch of sad, little men.
At least we're aware of what's going on around us.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"George Bush took office in 2001 the Mine Safety and Health Administration..."

George Bush took office and my soup never tasted the same, must be the HEW budget.

George Bush took office and shoelace quality degraded, must be the Shoelace administration budget"

etc etc etc

Has Bush tames the Alaskan seas yet? For there are far more fatalities salmon fishing.

This is Kevin, setting the stage for another massive defeat for the Dems. I can see the platform now? Vote Dem and we will spend 100 million and reduce mine fatalities by 10.

Posted by: Matt on January 4, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Look, cn, saying Bush's policies bear some responsibility for the deaths of the miners is different from saying Bush is directly responsible.
Are you stupid, or do you just play it on the web? Bush is responsible for his policies: if Bush's policies are responsible, then Bush is responsible.

Wait, I apologize; I forgot you're a Democrat and your idea of personal responsibility is just plain weird. People are only kinda sorta responsible for what they do.

But tell me, I know the lefty view is that the Federal Government is supposed to be everyone's mommy, but who is supposed to be the mommy for the Federal Government?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I can see the platform now? Vote Dem and we will spend 100 million and reduce mine fatalities by 10.

As opposed to the Republican platform, "we let our cronies ignore the law even if it means the death of your family?" The Dems win that fight in a walk, Matt.

Posted by: Gregory on January 4, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Nut how many deaths did that blue dress cause again?

Posted by: allen kayda on January 4, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

"But at no point do I absolve people taking responsibility for their own lives and well being." CN

CN, why don't you send a little note to the families of the dead miners and let them know how they should be taking responsibility for the deaths of their loved ones. I'm sure they would thank you for your thoughts.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 4, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

CN, why don't you send a little note to the families of the dead miners and let them know how they should be taking responsibility for the deaths of their loved ones.
Why don't you send them a note and tell them that they're no longer allowed to think for themselves because the government is going to do that for them?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Vote Dem and we will spend 100 million and reduce mine fatalities by 10.

Vote Repub and we will spend 300 Billion and increase military deaths by 2200+.

What's your point?

Posted by: ckelly on January 4, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see any reason for this discussion to be limited to GWB's usual mendacity & incompetence when the problem is a core Republican philosophy. They don't like government regulation, don't really believe in it (or when it's inarguably necessary, complain constantly about how it's implemented), cut enforcement drastically whenever they're in office, and generally consider at least some losses of life & limb among the peons to be acceptable in the quest for higher profits. This is no secret, and attempts to change the subject are SOP when the inevitable tragedies occur.

The part I find amusing is that so many on the right will castigate a formerly healthy 25-year-old for having not elected to spend some 15% of his or her gross income on an individual health insurance policy, while companies are applauded for "saving" fractions of percentages on worker and/or consumer safety policies. Somehow, corporations are "persons," except when the topic is "personal responsibility."

Posted by: latts on January 4, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut-

You're right! Google IS my friend...

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Tell your mom I said hello...

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Rad Racer: Who's going to file the wrongful death lawsuits? Bush and these greedy mining companies have blood on their hands.

sorry, but under West Virginia law, the company is only liable for lost salaries to the age of 60. To break tha ceiling, you need to prove that the company knew the miners were likely to die, and sent them anyway. not possible, but likely. the safety history of the mine is actually irrelevant, under West Virginia law.

ahh, tort reform.

Posted by: northzax on January 4, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

You're right! Google IS my friend
So's the echo chamber. You just keep looking for all the things that reinforce your view and ignoring everything that doesn't.

And don't forget to vote Democrat.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

You just keep looking for all the things that reinforce your view and ignoring everything that doesn't.

You mean, like you just ignored the fact that aaron proved you wrong, c.n.?

Posted by: Gregory on January 4, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

And Gregory, don't you forget to vote Democrat either, it's easier than thinking.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

cn-

Ha ha!!! It sucks to be wrong and then called out afterwords, doesn't it? I'm not a Democrat. I have just as much contempt for them as I do the GOP.

Keep your moth shut when you've been owned, junior.

There ya go, I'm done with ya.

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

And Gregory, don't you forget to vote Democrat either, it's easier than thinking.

Gee, c.n. that really hurts (not), coming from someone who just got pwnzed like you just did.

Posted by: Gregory on January 4, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, the levees were constructed properly. When the peers were removed, and they could be directly viewed (versus remotedly viewed by geophysical means), we found that they were indeed constructed properly. Keep up. You don't get to stop reading after you get to the part you like.

Posted by: allison on January 4, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Daaaaaamn!!!

Allison with the knowledge! CN, where you at? Damn, it must SUCK being so wrong....

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, the levees were constructed properly.Hmm, people that know what they're talking about seem to disagree with you.

A survey by Team Louisiana, the state-sponsored forensics group, found -- and the corps confirmed last week -- that the sheet pile depth was about 10 feet below sea level in the breached areas at both canals, much shallower than the 18.5 foot below-sea-level depth of the canals and 7 feet shorter than the corps thought.
Modjeski & Masters, the firm that designed the 17th Street canal wall, said last week it had initially recommended a 35-foot depth for the piling on the 17th Street Canal... [source]

And Aaron, it must suck to be so wrong.

But you moonbats just keep listening to the voices in your head.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, the levees were constructed properly.Hmm, people that know what they're talking about seem to disagree with you.

A survey by Team Louisiana, the state-sponsored forensics group, found -- and the corps confirmed last week -- that the sheet pile depth was about 10 feet below sea level in the breached areas at both canals, much shallower than the 18.5 foot below-sea-level depth of the canals and 7 feet shorter than the corps thought.
Modjeski & Masters, the firm that designed the 17th Street canal wall, said last week it had initially recommended a 35-foot depth for the piling on the 17th Street Canal... [source]

And Aaron, it must suck to be so wrong.

But you moonbats just keep listening to the voices in your head.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

nut-job: why do you read/post on this site? it's not like you are here for the debate (a comment that could also be directed at some of the liberal readers/commenters). you just call people "moonbats" or otherwise insult them.

i'm imagining an angry little man who still can't get over how he got picked last in dodgeball all those years. i don't know anyone else who could consider trading virtual punches on a daily basis enjoyable.

Posted by: Matt on January 4, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Mike, we already did, which is why we have mine safety regulations in the first place. Bush's cronyism has weakened those regulations. Sadly but not surprisingly, a tragedy results. The Republicans can and should be held responsible for the inevitable negative outcomes of their policy

After accusing the rival "Change to Win" coalition of attempting to rip the guts out of the AFL-CIO, Federation President John Sweeney ripped the guts out of the AFL-CIO himself by eliminating its highly touted Safety and Health Department, cutting half of its staff and moving the remainder into the Legislation Department. The bone-headed elimination of the department was allegedly intended to put more resources into organizing, although by weakening one of the major reasons for workers to join unions, it is more likely have the opposite effect.


Sweeney diverted all his resources from working with OSHA on safety issues to political issues to keep himself in power. He is one with blood on his hands. How long until he blames Bush. He refused to have his committee meet with Gov to discuss drug tests for miners, because it would lose votes for him by the KY miners.

Posted by: sinop85 on January 4, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

So in the 1950s the levees were desinged incorrectly but were kept up through the last 50 years by tax dollars that then vanished in 2003.

Got it.

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40C10FC34550C778DDDAB0994DD404482

For the full story on the depth of the pilings.

Posted by: allison on January 4, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

C.N., it seems you and the other side are talking past each other here. I guess I don't get what you're objecting to. You said you agree in principle with the existence of the EPA and FDA, for example, right? I assume that would be because even though the drug manufacturers and paper mills (to choose an example from my own region) should ideally clean up their messes and do everything they can to avoid making them, they don't always do so, right? So it's preferable if not necessary that someone else watch out, right? So if the people who could and should watch out, aren't watching out, then do they have at least some share of the responsibility for not doing so?

Let's use the example you allowed yourself. Suppose Pfizer wants to save money on quality control at the end of the line, so they successfully lobby Congress to have the regulations repealed (or just bribe someone at FDA to have them ignored), and a batch of bad Viagra gets through unnoticed, and a bunch of otherwise-healthy men in their fifties keel over dead from internal hemorrhaging. It goes without saying that the main culprits are the Pfizer executives who made the decision to cut corners, but doesn't just a smidgen of guilt trickle up to the people who could have stopped them but chose not to?

It looks to me like either you're using a different definition of "responsibility" than the other people here, or you're focusing on the fact that some people seem to be blaming Bush entirely and in response you're going in the polar opposite direction. Which is about as unreasonable.

Posted by: Cyrus on January 4, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that we have let craven fools like cn frame debates for far too long. Again, the essential idea in Kevin's post is that Republican cronyism and de-regulation are problems for America. He wants to change it into the "crazy moonbat hatred for Bush" meme.

It isn't working, is it?

Posted by: mr. ziffel on January 4, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

why do you read/post on this site?
Ah, you must be new. I read this site because you lefties are too much fun to read. I find it hard to believe this large a group can be that shallow. I comment here to poke fun at moonbats. I've said that before.

This site used to be able to generate some excellent discussion; then, oh, close to 2 years ago now, Kevin apparently decided he wanted a comment section full of mouth breathers and started posting the moonbat bait that he now writes. I do have to give him credit though, it's very effective moonbat bait, they flock here. Back when he posted reasonable stuff, reasonable people flocked here.

i'm imagining an angry little man who still can't get over how he got picked last in dodgeball all those years
I smile all the time while commenting here; it's truly fun. And I stand about 6'4", I had a dodgeball overhand that was feared. I got picked, you don't have to worry about my self esteem.

As for me abusing the other commenters, too true; but I was nice for several months while being called a brownshirt moronic fuck, et al. Don't tell me that you moonbats can dish it out, but can't take it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Like I would subscribe to Times Select. I have to admit, that's funny.

From the first 50 words, however, we find they still didn't reach the 35 feet that was recommended. 17 feet is still about the canal bottom. Nice try, though.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Cyrus
Hey, don't be coming out here trying to be reasonable. The regulars will pillory you for talking to me.

As for the EPA and FDA, my reasoning is like this: government should be done at the lowest level possible. Now not everything can be done at the local levels, some stuff must be bumped up. Take the EPA, localities may be inclined to permit a smidgen more pollution to attract companies and therefore tax dollars. So they get the benefit from this relaxation. But those localities don't live downstream of themselves, so they are not the ones bearing the cost of their decision. The FDA argument is similar but not as straightforward.

It looks to me like either you're using a different definition of "responsibility" than the other people here
No doubt, the lefty definition of responsibility doesn't seem to correspond to any dictionary I've seen.

or you're focusing on the fact that some people seem to be blaming Bush entirely and in response you're going in the polar opposite direction.
Good guess.

Which is about as unreasonable.
I agree.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

cnut - this post just raises even more questions in my mind. so insulting people is pleasurable, but not because of some physical limitation that leads you to resort to cyber-fighting ...

now i'm just thinking, "pussy?"

Posted by: Matt on January 4, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

please accept my apologies for the last comment. it didn't come out as good-naturedly as intended.

Posted by: Matt on January 4, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

cn-Like I would subscribe to Times Select. I have to admit, that's funny.

Of course you wouldn't. That would mean reading viewpoints other than the ones you subscribe to.

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Matt
Don't worry, I have thick skin or I'd never survive here.

I will point out that I don't consider "moonbat" to be insulting; I refer to myself as a "wingnut". They are simply descriptive terms for the crazies on each end of the spectrum.

And I use "lefty" as a distinguisher from "liberal". See, desiring defeat (i.e. pulling out) in Iraq can only accomplish a weakening of America, that is a leftist ideal. The liberals support the Iraq war because it is a liberal war. Mostly lefties hang out here, extremely few liberals. And once again, I don't consider it derogatory, merely descriptive.

Now, the rest of the abuse is abuse.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

That would mean reading viewpoints other than the ones you subscribe to.
You know Aaron, that sounds pretty damn funny. You'll notice that we're typing on a lefty blog, and not a rightie blog. Do you suppose I don't get any views contrary to my own out here?

So tell me again who's insulating themselves?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Over 13,000 men have died in mining accidents over the past century and a half. There are fatal accidents every year, during each administration. I am sure if you are bitter enough you could nit pick each and every disaster and draw any number of conclusions. If MSHA was neglegent then they should be held accountable. If the mining company was neglegent then they should be held accountable. If an equipiment manufacturer was neglegent, etc.. and it works its way down to the actual miners as to who was neglegent.

Posted by: bob on January 4, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

CN- You're truly hilarious. I'm glad I stummbled on this site.

You said yourself you only come here to stir things up, not for information of any kind.

Look, we can go round and round. But let's not.
I actually work for a living. You know, work? I know sometimes wingnuts have trouble relating to that word....

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

I actually work for a living. You know, work?
Don't get me started, I have this wonderful schtick about how I work for the DNC; building support with the base. How am I doing?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Over 13,000 men have died in mining accidents over the past century and a half.
No, no. The only time people die in industrial accidents is when a Republican is in the White House. The rest of those are just a mirage.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

This just shows a fundamental difference between Democratic and Republican world views. Democrats believe more regulation and oversight is needed to prevent tragedies like this Republicans believe business needs to have more independence.
Both views are reasonable and every thinking person understands the need to balance the two sides as both extremes are unworkable.

But I'm confused on what C-Nut is saying. Are you claiming that a few additional deaths and injuries are a perfectly reasonable cost for a more efficient industry? If so, say so. Or are you claiming that regulation and government involvement don't actually improve safety in the first place? If that's the point you have quite a case to make.

Posted by: Mark on January 4, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

But I'm confused on what C-Nut is saying.
My mission is accomplished then.

I worked in industry for years (more than I'll admit). And there is something that I have learned: employees are a valuable asset. Nobody knows a job as well as the person that does it. New hires are worthless, and they take an experienced employee off line to train them. It is in business's interest to protect these people.

A few decades ago, ATT thought that 14 employee deaths was a good year. Coal mining, as noted above, has killed thousands. This leads to something else to keep in mind: there are no safe workplaces, only safe workers.

This leaves several conflicting things. If a business choses not to adequately protect its employees, it needs help to do so. That could come in several forms, Federal regulations is a possibility. But no business and no amount of regulation can fully protect employees, shit happens. And the employees themselves carry some of the burden here.

And even if everybody does their stuff right, people will still die. People die on the highway, they die in their kitchens, and they die at work.

This is not a Republican thing, it's not a Democrat thing, it's not even a coal mining thing. This company had an accident that may or may not have been foreseeable/preventable, there needs to be an investigation and if it was preventable that cause should be addressed.

But this is no failure of GW Bush to appoint somebody that makes Democrats swoon.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

cn wrote:

But this is no failure of GW Bush to appoint somebody that makes Democrats swoon.

I'm not interested in seeing Democrats swoon; I'm interested in seeing competent appointments.

Posted by: mr. ziffel on January 4, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm interested in seeing competent appointments.
So were 52% of the voters, the rest voted for Kerry.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

CN

Your 5:09 post was excellent. And yes MSM and the American public can't believe that accidents happen. Afterall that is why they are called accidents.

But its too bad you had to waste 3 hours in writing the dribble and insults that you did. Someone who believes as you do would probably say you must have a government job (i.e. in order to have the time to write over the period of time you did.)

If many want to blame Bush, it may be do to the fact that the man is a BIG BIG supporter of personal responsibility but in 5 years he has refused to take responsibility for - - anything. But that is the type of a boss that doesn't accomplish anything.

It isn't all about personal responsibility CN. It's also about respect for others. And what the corporate world has taught so many of us is -Don't give a rats ass about anyone but yourself - as long as I can take care of myself - screw everyone else. That may not drive every else crazy - but it is what drives me crazy about the right. Because no matter where we are - we are dependent on each other - whether we like it or not.

Posted by: Mary on January 4, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

its too bad you had to waste 3 hours in writing the dribble and insults that you did
I consider it time well spent. My blood pressure is way down since I started working out my frustrations on lefties.

but in 5 years he has refused to take responsibility for - - anything
I don't come here to support Bush. I've said it before and I'll say it again. He only got 2 things right:
- He pursued terrorism
- He irritates the moonbats
The first is why I voted for him again in 2004, the second gives meaning to my life. Other than those, he's an abject failure. (In case you care, I voted for him in 2000 because I'm still not sure Al Bore is human. But that was a choice between dumb and dumber.)

And what the corporate world has taught so many of us is
Too much of corporate US is hung up in the world of Fredrick Taylor. Too bad we didn't pay more attention to Deming.

Probably too narrow of a description, but done fully it would be book length. My favorite Deming: "90% of what appear to be people problems are process problems". It's true, and if thought through and acted on, makes a world of difference. Bottom line is that there is no conflict between proper treatment of employees and profit.

If the left really wanted to make a difference, they'd learn this stuff and use it (I do). The best way to get companies to do things is when they can see it is good for their profits.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

CN,

Please go back back to your bumper sticker press under the bridge.

Posted by: vienna local on January 4, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Please go back back to your bumper sticker press under the bridge.
I knew it, I say something intelligent and thought provoking, and the moonbats blow a fuse.

Democrats: Don't make it hard for us, we only do easy!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 4, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter wingnut:
"Personal responsibility" = it's your own fault if you die for choosing to work in a risky profession, and the risks have clearly increased in tandem with a relaxation of regulatory oversight; obviously, you should have been watching the incident stats and chosen your emploment accordingly
"free market" = and if you do die, you can always sue -- that is, if the courts allow you, after we've "tort reformed" your right to sue out of existence
Thank y'all for your enlightenment; now I get it. In grade school, it was called "heads I win, tails you lose."

Posted by: smartalek on January 4, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and Cheney are bought and paid for by big oil and big coal.

An excerpt from "Boiling Point" highlights a clash of interests over climate change - By Ross Gelbspan

Under the administration of George W. Bush, the White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, and climate change has become the preeminent case study of the contamination of our political system by money.

Bush's electoral success, moreover, was heavily funded by big coal and oil. His 2000 presidential win can in large measure be traced to his victory in West Virginia, a state no other Republican presidential candidate had ever won. That win resulted from the substantial support of the state's coal industry. One coal executive alone, James Harless, raised $275,000 for the Bush campaign in West Virginia, five times more than Al Gore raised there.
Five months after Bush's inauguration, a West Virginia Coal Association official told a meeting of the organization: "You did everything you could to elect a Republican president. Now you are already seeing in his actions the payback ... for what we did."

That "payback" came in the form of an about-face on a campaign promise Candidate Bush made in 1999 -- to repeat nationally what he had done as governor of Texas, imposing a carbon dioxide emissions cap on the state's coal-fired power plants. In a letter to four Republican senators, Bush said he was backing away from the cap because of the "incomplete state of scientific knowledge of the causes of, and solutions to, global climate change and the lack of commercially available technologies for removing and storing carbon dioxide."

Particularly pleased by Bush's flip-flop was Irl Englehardt, chair of the Peabody Group, the country's biggest coal company. Englehardt had donated $250,000 to the Republican National Committee, and served as an adviser to the Bush-Cheney Energy Transition Team. On May 17, 2001, when the Cheney task force unveiled its new energy plan, it not only called for an expanded role for nuclear power and the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, but for the construction of between 1,300 and 1,900 new power plants, most of them powered by coal. Within a week of the plan's unveiling, the Peabody Group -- a privately held entity for its entire 120-year life -- made an initial public offering (IPO) of shares and went public. Overnight, its stock jumped from $24 to $36.

Posted by: MLuther on January 4, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

CN

Liked your response. It will make me check out some of your references. And I agree that there should be "...no conflict between proper treatment of employees and profit."

But you claim that "The best way to get companies to do things is when they can see it is good for their profits."

I concur. But according to your philosphy, shouldn't the companies themselves have to do this hard work? Why does corporate America get a "free pass" on the difficult stuff yet you disparage all Democrats by saying ... "Democrats: Don't make it hard for us, we only do easy!" Does this insult prove a point? Or just make it easier to retort with a quip?

Personal responsibility means you have to be responsible in the way you conduct your business as well. And if your business just happens to be politics don't take the easy way out because there are so many that do. It is so much easier to be snide, insulting, and just plain old mean. And you know what, acting that way really isn't that healthy either. Okay, at times it can be sooo much fun. But at what cost?

Believe me I don't like the namecalling and the nasty comments from the side I agree with either. But the more we pander to it, the worse it becomes. Look at Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Malkin, Coulter (do I have to!), and the rest. I always felt Carvelle and Matalin should have been prevented from procreating (just a joke!).

But it has become TOO MUCH! And we shouldn't encourage it on blogs. The best line about this was issued by Bette Midler. When asked why she stopped her "raunchy" routines and performances back in the day when Madonna was becoming a huge star, she replied "Because everyone is stealing my act!"

Time to end the stealing.

Posted by: Mary on January 4, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Mary
But according to your philosphy, shouldn't the companies themselves have to do this hard work?
They ought to. But then again, people don't always act rationally. For example, the anti-warriors in the Democratic party want to act as if world peace has already arrived. It hasn't, and we shouldn't act like it has.

Another thing to keep in mind, corporate US acts as they have been trained to. The old dogs and new tricks thing. Retraining is not fast and easy.

there should be "...no conflict between proper treatment of employees and profit."
You can trust me here, it isn't "there should be", it is "there is". Early in my life I worked at 2 branches of the same company, each branch did the same volume of the same stuff. One branch did it with 19 people, the other with 9. And the branch that did it with 9 made more profit, paid it's workers more, worked it's workers less, and in general treated its employees better. That's what got me interested in this, and that's why I got trained and educated in this. You may worry about the "loss" of 10 jobs, but don't. The second branch did what's known as "value creation". Same thing James Watt did with the steam engine; he put a lot of weavers out work, but he created so many more opportunities that it was a tremendous net gain.

But it has become TOO MUCH! And we shouldn't encourage it on blogs.
I continued to be nice for quite a while after this blog degenerated into a fever swamp. And I waffled as to whether to keep coming here after that happened. I ended up staying because I still keep the hope that Kevin will stop writing moonbat bait and this blog will become something useful again.

In the meantime, I've changed my handle and gone to town. It's really not making me any meaner, I look on this as pure fun. I may be (sorry, I am) hard on some of the commenters, but as you've noticed they don't really deserve any better.

The difference between me and most is that I realize I am part of the problem and not part of the solution. I will also be one of the gladdest to see this blog return to what it can be, and if that time comes I will become part of the solution.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 5, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

CN

Glad to get some reasoned words from you. But I would encourage you to be part of the solution and not the problem. Believe it or not, this has been my first post to any site. I've been around the web pages and blogs and I've seen the rhetoric go back and forth. I can't believe the animosity and the language from BOTH sides. At some point it must just STOP. I usually try to stay away from blogs that allow that kind of commenting. I don't want to go down that path. But I was intrigued why you continued to "push buttons", almost taking delight in someone else's frustrations. It was like watching a little boy taunt a kitten or puppy. And I couldn't figure out why.

What started all of this was a post by Kevin primarily stating that Bush seems to take competent, professional personnel in government positions, makes life at their position unbearable if they don't follow his political program, and then replaces them with good ol' boys who supported him but are not necessarily going to follow the law. (Brownie unfortunately was a prime example; and there have been numerous stories of others.) But safety regulations are the law. If Bush and company think the regulations are too obtrusive to company business, then change the law. As you say, DO THE HARD WORK. Convince the American people and the miners that it would be better for them to repeal these safety regulations. (I don't think they will win that debate.)

But these law and order guys don't do that. They just IGNORE the law. And they do what they want. And I can't see where this post by Kevin supports your overall philosophy of "moonbats" etc. Where is the emotional rhetoric from Kevin in this specific post? If there is none, you have conditioned yourself to react instead of analyze. So can't you see? You yourself have become conditioned to think like those you are complaining about. So I think you playing this game does harm you!

If corporate America did the hard work CN, we wouldn't need the regulations and hence the big government. It will always be a balancing act. My goal continues to be to have a public entity (federal government) who's primary purpose is to protect the Public Good. Not the company Owners or Stockholders. Government obviously doesn't always work that way (same with Corporate America). And wrong AND bad decisions can be made. I just don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water.

I worked for a huge "employee-owned" company (in fact Elaine Chao was on the Board of Directors at one time). We had ethics training. And all the company training boiled down to was "We conduct ourselves lawfully not because it is the right thing to do, or the noble way to run a business, or the most profitable way to run the business. We do it because any other way was illegal, and could get us into trouble with the law, and it could cost us money and maybe our reputation." Take that away, and corporate America (and human beings) will have a field day no limits, anything we want, everyone else be damned. Focusing solely on money removes the humanity from human beings. And I don't think we can then consider ourselves different at all from the rest of the mammals on the planet.

So I think companies need to understand once again the WIN-WIN scenario (which you seem to endorse.) However Harvard Business School et.al. dont promote that. It's all about being ruthless and being No. 1. Anything else is practically worthless. Yeah me!; screw you!

If you really believe that this blog can become something useful again then you too need to DO THE HARD WORK. Resist the temptation for the tit-for-tat insult. No one really deserves that. Not even moonbats and wingnuts.

Enjoyed the exchange CN. Best to you in the new year.

Posted by: Mary on January 5, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Mary
Before trailing off into the sunset, I'll point out that political cronyism isn't new. Do the words "Travel Office" ring any bells? And Bush's political appointments were, on the whole, likely no worse than their predecessors.

I mean seriously, the words "political appointee" just don't inspire a lot of confidence in me.

You have a happy new year, too; and don't get too depressed with blogs. There are many blogs out there with fine comment sections, this blog is different only because it is so partisan but does not ban dissenters.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 5, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

The most safe way to mine coal is to strip mine it, or to leave underground mining strictly to next-generation robots. The main aesthetic question is: when restoring a strip mined area, should we restore to a hilly condition, or leave it as a flat field?

Underground mining with humans will always be dangerous. If mining safety becomes prohibitively expensive, it shifts the economics of underground mines to strip mining. Do you want rolling hills or flat fields with that megawatt of energy?

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on January 5, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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