Thursday, January 05, 2006

More on Sago Mine

JACK SPADARO, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL MINE ACADEMY: We know from the record that the mine, in particular in the past year, has been cited over 180 times for violations of federal mine health and safety law and regulations. And about 90 of those violations were called serious and substantial violations of the law. So we know that it was a very unsafe mine and that there were serious problems with mine ventilation and roof control.

COLMES: Are you saying that these men should not have been allowed to go down there?

SPADARO: Yes, sir.

COLMES: You're saying this mine should not have been open?

SPADARO: This mine should have been closed. And there were too many serious violations. And the record is very clear.

COLMES: Why was it open then? If you, as a safety expert, feels it should not have been, why was it open?

SPADARO: I think it's because of the current Bush administration's policies toward mine operators and their reluctance to take the strong enforcement action that's sometimes necessary. And that often involves closing a mine.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Jack, let's not politicize this! I mean, already, what do you want, to blame George Bush with this? Is that where you're headed with this political question? I don't think this is the time to go into that.

There certainly are issues. This mine was cited for over 200 violations, 46 during an 11-week period late in the year. They've been fined thousands of dollars. But I can't see an instance where it was recommended that they close it.

SPADARO: Well, actually, there were three orders to close portions of the mine that were issued in the October to the December period. And there has been a significant change since the Bush administration took over, the enforcement of mine safety and health.

And I can speak to that, because I worked in the agency, and I talk with people every day who tell me that, in recent years, and particularly in recent months, there's been a reluctance on the part of the top management at the Mine Safety and Health Administration...

HANNITY: All right, you've got a political...

SPADARO: ... to enforce the law.

HANNITY: We don't have time tonight to get into this, nor do I think it's appropriate. But you clearly have a political agenda that, if I had enough time, I'm sure I...

SPADARO: No. You called me and asked me to make a comment.

HANNITY: I know, but I'm sure...

SPADARO: And I'm telling you what's...

HANNITY: You want to turn this into a political thing...

SPADARO: No, I'm telling you what the truth is.

HANNITY: ... and we have families that are suffering tonight, sir.

SPADARO: And that's the truth is that there were 180 violations...

HANNITY: You want to blame George Bush...

SPADARO: ... that were serious.

HANNITY: ... like a lot of extreme left-wingers. All right. Go ahead. You got your point out.

As Scott Shields says: "I believe that, as President, Bush should be held accountable for every tragedy that is related to his policies." I so agree.

1 comment:

Brian said...

"I believe that, as President, Bush should be held accountable for every tragedy that is related to his policies."

I'd settle for him being accountable for the worst ones. That said, this is due in part to the fact that in the past, many of my friends on the left would attack Bush for idiotic things like his various problems with the English language, his lack of charisma or his alleged IQ. Since so many on the left polluted the atmosphere with juvenile garbage like the stuff I mentioned above, now some otherwise moderate and fair-minded people won't listen to ANY left-of-center criticism of Bush. It pissed me off at the time and still does now because there was and is more than enough substantive things wrong with his actual policies that no one needed to resort to the sort of ad hominem name calling that would be more appropriate on the first grade playground. When a friend of mine would say stuff like, "Bush: like a rock only dumber," no one was going to listen to any substantitive criticism of Bush that followed. I believe we're all suffering from this self-indulgent whining as a result.