Thursday, January 05, 2006

POSSIBLE STRAWMAN ALERT

Or maybe not...

NewsMax, always looking for an opportunity to set up an anti-Bush strawman they can knock down, brings us this secondhand tidbit from Fox's "Hannity & Colmes":

"President Bush Blamed for Mine Disaster"

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/1/4/220540.shtml

Former Superintendent of National Mine Safety and Health Academy, Jack Spadaro, is the honored strawman this time...

When asked why the allegedly unsafe mine continued to operate, he is quoted as saying:

"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."

The National Mine Safety and Health Academy is a quasi-government organization which compares itself to a military academy:

http://www.msha.gov/PROGRAMS/EPD2.HTM

There just might be some steel in the straw this time. According to the Washington Post, the mine was cited 273 times for safety violations in the last two years, and about a third of those violations were "significant and substantial."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/03/AR2006010301433_pf.html

So the question becomes, is this a case of mulish noncompliance turned tragic, or did the regulators "go soft" on their own findings, allowing an unsafe mine to operate?

Ignoring that there is a real difference between "the Bush Administration" and George W Bush, Spadaro's claim just might have merit. And this man may have the credentials to make the claim. It's a good bet he knows more about mine safety than Limbacher, Hannity, and Colmes put together...

OOPS! I forgot! Hannity knows everything! Just ask him!

Seriously, the last thing GWB needs right now is another 20/20 hindsight-driven scandal...

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