The Sago Mines: Negligence by the Republicans
by Matt Stoller, Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 09:40:27 AM EST
Leon H's post against Scott just gets the facts wrong. He posits that government regulation of the mines were working, since the mine had been fined 208 times in 2005. Apparently, this was simply an act of God, with no responsiblity for anyone involved. Leon H says this about the fines:
A reasonable man who knows next to nothing about coal mining, or the coal mining industry, but I'll grant the fact that a mine which has been fined 208 times (I believe this is within a 2 year period) ought to have at the very least been fined into oblivion.
The Sago mine generated $15.7 million through the third quarter for the International Coal Group. The company has been fined $24,000 through 2005, and has paid $14,500 of that. It's pretty obvious that failing to ensure the safety of their workers is profitable for the International Coal Group.
A self-described reasonable man like Leon H assumes that fines mean something. In this case, they don't. Government is broken, by design of the right-wing and George Bush. Mine safety was compromised. And so people died.
That's the reality of the Republican leadership. And let me just offer, to all principled conservatives out there, you may one day need the protection of the legal and political system against a large employer that has invested in political corruption, as the mining companies did. Keep that in mind. Acts of God happen, there's no doubt, but we have means in modern America to prepare for them and mollify their consequences. Let's not forget in reflexively defending a President who fails in his job. There will be other Republican Presidents in the future, and your credibility is on the line here with those people who will have to face the legacy of Bush every day of their Presidency.