Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pretty Good Summary of Bush Record

You may be able to argue about some of these things, but for the most part I think they are pretty much right on. What is really sad is about 30% of Americans really seem to support these 'policies'.

1. Tax cuts leading to massive, unprecedented deficits
2. Preemptive wars against non-aggressive nations
3. Sanctioning of torture
4. De-regulation of environment protections
5. Weakening of the separation of church and state
6. Exempting the gun industry from lawsuits
7. Weakening of individual privacy protections
8. Rejection of international organizations - U.N., World Court, etc.
9. Increased hatred of the U.S.A. in Islamic countries
10. Increase in terrorist attacks since 9/11
11. Neglect of poverty in the U.S.A. and abroad
12. Shifting the tax burden from wealthy corporations and individuals to wage earners
13. Reducing (hoping to abolish) estate taxes thus creating "a permanent aristocracy" in America
14. Furthering anti-intellectualism - a president who admittedly does not read and is embarrassingly inarticulate
15. Increased military spending; hostility to spending for social services
16. Increased number of Americans without health care
17. Rejection of minimum wage increases - five consecutive years
18. Applying the principle of awarding lucrative contracts to crony companies without competitive bidding
19. Attempts to privatize Social Security
20. Four consecutive years of increases in the percentage of Americans living in poverty

I really think GW Bush will go down as one of the worst world leaders ever.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Shovel Snow Much? Then Get a Wovel

(picture from wovel website, I'll add one of me soon)
I got my new wovel two days ago and have used it twice so far. This is one of the best investments in tools that I have ever made and using it is actually fun. It is built such that I can't imagine it not lasting at least the rest of my life. Sort of like that 'computer learning guy' on tv says, "if you are interested in easier a wovel".

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Upstate NY Blogs

I've added links below to a bunch of them including Adirondack Almanack, Musings of a (fairly) Young Contrarian, NYCO's Blog, York Staters, The 10,000 Things and 20TrueBlue (an anti-Sweeney site, good for you folks). Also, a link to Kirsten Gillibrand For Congress site.

Now, will someone please tell me how to get all that info back on top of my blog! PLEASE!

Kirsten Gillibrand For Congress

Thank god someone is running against Sweeney to represent the 20th Congressional District of NY. I don't know much about Ms. Gillibrand but I'd vote for almost anyone, even another republican over Sweeney. Sweeney votes with Tom Delay 92% of the time. That is definitely not representative of my congressional district. That means Sweeney doesn't give a damn about alot of us. He can't even give back have Abramhoff money to a local charity. I'm planning on learning more about Gillibrand and eventually will probably have to put some money where my mouth is.

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.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sago Mine Deaths and Bush Cronyism

12 people dead in a West Virginia mining accident because mining safety regulations are not being enforced. So who is in charge at the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. If your first guess is a Bush crony, you would be correct.

Holding the top job at the MSHA is an executive that previously worked for Utah's Energy West Mining Company. David Lauriski and his top two deputies were recruited from mining companies. 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. It appears that the federal mine safety inspectors on the ground are doing their job, but there is no enforcement of safety regulations.

In 2004, the Sago mine had an accident and injury rate of 15.9 per 200,000 man hours worked. That rate has since increased to 17.04. The national average rate is 5.66. A mine of similar size, in WV, (Kingston Mining #1) had an accident rate of 1.21. The MSHA has been issuing citations but little enforcement seems to be taking place. Federal inspectors fined the Sago mine more than $24,000 for roughly 202 violations in 2005, according to federal records. Wow, $120 per violation! That would make me sit up and take notice of safety violations.

The Sago mine also happens to employ non-unionized labor, so there isn't much the mine workers can do to influence enforcement of mine safety regulations.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bush Has Made Us Safer - Let's Count the Ways

1. Osama is still free and Bush never even mentions him anymore

2. Our military is bogged down in a war that had nothing to do with Osama or Al Qaeda

3. Iraq is now the biggest terrorist training camp in the world

4. 9/11 Commission recommendations to make us safer have not been completely implemented

5. The Homeland Security budget is being spent as if it's frivolous pork

6. The 9/11 Commission gives Bush a grade of "D" under the category: "Maximum effort to prevent terrorists from acquiring WMD"

7. Most of the World now either hates or is scared of the USA

8. GWB is constantly chipping away at the Bill of Rights