Saturday, January 14, 2006

Heckuva Job! Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cronyism

Not sure if enough time has passed since those 12 miners died in Virginia, but I’m going to blog about it and ramble on a tangent anyway.

This is a perfect example of what happens in a world where we are moving faster and faster towards a 21st century Gilded Age.

As the Washington Post pointed out this month on the 4th, this particular mine was cited 273 times in the last two years for safety violations, a third of which were classified as substantial. And yes, many were things that could contribute to an explosion.
Yes, I know the mine was taken over after a lot of those things had happened, but my point here is not really aimed only at them. And for the moment, I am not aiming my anger at deregulation of the kind the ultra-right wing love so much.
It is aimed at an administration and a congress that has allowed a government organization like the Mine Safety and Health Administration twist in the wind like every other agency that is supposed to be on the lookout for citizens and workers.
There is no money and leadership for it, for FEMA and a myriad of others.
What are these agencies being used for, then? They are either being ignored or under funded, or they are being used as repositories for friends of Bush, et al.

Now, that is nothing new in Washington, of course, but do we really want to fuck around with some of these agencies like this? Heckuva Job Brownie, anyone?
And what happens when you shove in morons to run things in any organization? The people that have the experience and do the real work run for the doors. We’ve all seen that at companies where we have worked.

A few other examples:

Steven Griles, LOBBYIST for mining, oil and gas industry was named Deputy Interior Secretary. Nothing else to say here, this was the obvious choice, of course.

Bush nominated 36 year old lawyer Julie L. Myers to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Homeland Security Department while Congress was in recess. Who was she? A former White House aide and the niece of Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Recently? As assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, she supervised 170 employees and headed the department's enforcement of export control laws. Awesome.

Ellen Sauerbrey, a former state lawmaker from Maryland is now the Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees, Population, and Migration. What experience does she bring to this job, which includes a massive budget and coordinating emergency relief operations? says: “As ambassador (U.S. representative to the Economic and Social Council of the U.N.'s Commission on the Status of Women), she has pushed her ideological views, including her staunch opposition to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women -- a position which the Bush administration shares with Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia -- and to any form of abortion rights.” Another winner.

These are but a couple examples, there are MANY more if you do some searches on the Internets about who Bush has appointed and for what. It doesn’t take too much time to find a ton of inappropriate and possibly dangerous examples of his cronyism.
At the expense of lives.


Matt Vella said...

Wanna see some serious cronyism? Check out how Halliburton has done since good ol' Geedub and Cheney have taken the reins.

Tom Harper said...

Great title. It's amazing how slack the "regulators" are with the mining industry. If they get fined at all for violations (unlikely), it's apt to be a fine of several hundred dollars. Oooohh!

Several years ago, a mining company was prosecuted for too many violations and accidents. The "punishment" was that the owner couldn't purchase any new coal mines for 6 months.

Mike V. said...

Yea, Tom, those guys really get in trouble when they put lives on the line, don't they?
BTW, I think you should turn your comments back on for your blog. Just use word verify. If that one dude starts in, he'll get bitchslapped.

Tom Harper said...

Mike: Funny you should mention it, but I actually did turn my comments back on just today. I'm using Comment Moderation. I didn't even know Blogger offered it; someone just told me today.

So they're back on. Check it out.

stacy said...

The thing is, Bush has promoted so many cronies and the media have just ignored it- from Mike Brown, Harriet Miers to his new head of immigration. Until they do something so incompetent or outrageous, the media just ignore it.

karen said...

Like your blog!

Anhoni Patel said...

"Ellen Sauerbrey, a former state lawmaker from Maryland is now the Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees, Population, and Migration." = ARGH!!!


Opinionnation said...

Hey Mike. I'm stopping to say thanks for the comments and the tough opinions.

karen said...

Mike, forgot to mention earlier, hope you don't mind I *borrowed* some of your pics with kudos to you... click on my blog to check it out!

Mike V. said...

whoa, lotsa new people.
that's nice.
thanks op and karen.
and the regulars, of course.
don't see enough of you, anhoni!