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October 07, 2007

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I smell something rotten on the Potomac and I think it's the Bush administration. Any bets that there is a massive document purge (in flagrant violation of dozens of laws) before the transition to the new (Democratic) president?

The RICO Squee-gee wipes away ever-higher levels of Betrayal - revealing the Elite Boss Women and Boss Men of BushCo Criminal Enterprises, Inc. - in the clear light...of Freedom.

Keep Hope alive!

Checks and balances, while laudable in theory, costs more than autocracy. That's why in 2100 we look back to the 2008 restoration of the monarchy with a tear of gratitude. Without it, our annual tax cut could never be sustained, and we would have no money left over to pay the sewer compnay, the police company, the militia company, the education company, the electricity company, the bodyguard company, or the weekly subscription fee to be covered by the GE Radiation-Shield.

Complain. Complain.

Hey, they said they would do it. Just will take some time.

Just searching through their e-mails for material related to the Crandall Canyon mine could cost $3.5 million and take 20 weeks

I thought grep was free...and it's not that slow.

I'll come over and do it for $30 a half hour.

Interesting, isn't it, that they always know the exact figures for costs in time and money of complying with legally-mandated requests. Somewhere in the GoOper Handbook On Screwing Up the Government there must be a section that sets out the figures: Request for an e-mail: 1 hour, $20; request for record of a telephone conversation: 2 hours, $50. Multiply appropriately.

But when it comes to the dollars involved in actually running a functioning government? Not so much.

I haven't seen Mr. Mineowner Murray on CNN much lately - he used to be really prepared with quotes to the media and regulators about how much complying with safety directives was costing him, a million here, 100,000 an hour there, he would have to cut this many hundred jobs in Utah, the precision of his calculations on the spur of the moment was impressive. Somehow, though, he was never asked how much money he was saving and making by his Bushco-approved scavenger business model, which was to seek out mines that had already had the expensive work of digging the mine shafts, and getting permission to hollow out the coal holding up the roof that other companies had determined was just too dangerous to mine, or was in geologically unstable areas that were inviting a cave-in. A few dead miners? Just a cost of doing business, and hey, isnt that what workers' comp is for, so you don't even have to worry about lawsuits from killed or injured workers. I'm sure the emails would demonstrate some creative rule-making allowing for the profitable but dangerous coal to be mined, even though previous owners of Murray's mines had been ordered not to open these seams, or perhaps had even been conscious of the fact that someone might get killed.

If only Elaine Chao had been in Philadelphia during that long hot summer of 1787, so she could have pointed out to the Constitutional Convention how expensive and inefficient their system would be! No doubt the logic of her position would have swayed those assembled to reject their silly insistence on giving Congress the power "to make rules for the government." Couldn't they have seen how annoying that might be for the Executive Branch?

Since she was born too late, perhaps she should dedicate herself to passage of a Constitutional amendment that remedies this horrific inefficiency.

If Chao had done her job, there might not have been a mine accident. The clean-up of messes made during the past six years are expensive because total incompetents like her are in charge of everything which translates into giving the country to the fat cats, mine owners included. May she shovel coal in the next life.

If you don't pay for good government, you won't get good government.
One side sees this as an admonition, a warning. The other sees it as part of a plan.

There was an approval of a emergency response plan for the Crandall mine dated 6/13/07.

"All provisions in it must be implemented immediately with the exception of the breathable air provision which must be implemented within 60 days." (Too late for the miners).

The Emergency Response Plan was submitted to the MSHA in early June and consisted of 8 pages plus a cover letter ( which are not posted on the site).

Here is the document posted at the government side MSHA/Dept. of Labor

http://www.msha.gov/Genwal/GenwalERP.pdf

Maybe someone more familiar with mining procedures can address this. I have never heard a mention of what this filing was for, routine or for the special collaspsing roof procedure that apparently was the cause of the disaster.

I would think that it wouldn't be too costly to call Mr. Peacock, the author of the approval letter and request a copy of the Emergency Response Plan of June 2007 as a starter.

Oversight is expensive only when the subject has something to hide. Handing over all of the electronic files and emails related to mining regulation would cost at most a few thousand dollars and a few days of time.

If compliance with consitutionally mandated oversight is "too expensive" and "too time consuming" that's a sure sign that the subject assigns a higher priority to CYA than to good government.

As far as I'm concerned, congress shoulders the entire burden of perpetuating this sinister charade. Why shouldn't the executive branch racketeers continue to act in such fashion? It works. Their unvarnished contempt for congressional democrats is a righteous one.

Just searching through their e-mails for material related to the Crandall Canyon mine could cost $3.5 million and take 20 weeks, Labor officials said.

I'll do it for $3.4 million in 19 weeks. Is this a no bid gig with KBR or MZM or do I really have a shot at it?

The article uses the subjective to describe how long it "could" take and how much it "would" cost. If Labor is using the subjunctive too, it's pretty clear thay have NOT committed to responding to the request.

The subpoena asks for records of communications with Murray Energy from 2001 to now. Clearly, the Labor Department never expected Congressional oversight of it activities during the years of Republican majorities. No one could've predicted it (if you get my drift).

You enter the words "Crandall Mine, Utah" in the e-mail search engine and then forward the results to the House Committee.

Takes less than a minute and it costs nothing.

What a joke.

Can I sell Congress some software that will let them mine and index all the archived digital content created by this 7 year long conspiracy?

In a few hours?

For about $45,000, one-time?

Yeah, thought not.

House Education and Labor Committee?

Somehow that seems like a lot of unrelated business onone committe's plate...

When did two such important stand-alone issues get put into one oversight committee?

Seems so unrelated, except for the fact that there's a teacher's union, it just struck me as a bit crowded at that table.

Here's a thought...make the Crandal mine owners pay for opening up the rest of the can of worms, that would bring the cost down precipitously, and immediately.

You want to see how fast we can get that $3 million dropped to the real peanuts we all know it would really cost? And get it done in short order?

Just make Murray pay for the work. And charge him by the hour.

Then he'd really have something to yell about.

Time to create the office of super congressional inspector general, who can go in do the IT dump and hand it over to Congressional Aides who are read into national secrets for redaction purposes, and hand the material to Congress. No more of the missing email probs. Subpoenas? Who needs 'em? We don't need no stinking subpoenas. We'll just get FISA umbrella warrents for emails and phone records of the Executive Branch - qui pro quo for their knowing the Congressional email passwords for at least 4 1/2 years.

I should probably back away slowly from a very alluring wine bottle.

When you layer this information with the FDL posting on the regulatory cuts to the USDA regarding inspections of meat and then pair both with the regulatory cuts in safety inspections which have resulted in the recalls on toys and products from China, the picture is clear. We the People are seen as expendable and worthless...lab rats...

Get rich quick efforts by lobbying to reduce regulatory measures which cost corporate America big bucks, cost everyone in the end. If I was anyone personally hurt as an end result of industry lobbying to reduce regulatory inspections and compliance or enforcement of such (as is the case here), I would make darn sure the lobbiests and those who voted in favor of as well as those who "looked the other way" were named in my lawsuit. That includes Elaine...Let's just get everyone out of their beds and turn on the lights...Even if it does have the potential of revealing images which would render consideration towards "poking my mind's eye out!"

Elaine, the email game is getting old. We all know better! Do your job or leave.

I'm no computing master, but even users at my level know about virtual folders, which email software programs routinely support. Are we and our elected representatives expected to think that government agencies actually have to rummage through thousands of unorganized emails as though they were a dump of never-filed paper documents?

IANAL, so this is a long question:

Congress has some limited prosecutorial authority - inherent contempt to name the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

Congress can investigate via the vehicle of subpoena, but there is nothing that I know of beside contempt of congress that puts teeth into their oversite. I'm thinking that this is weak gruel for the constitutional mandate for oversite, especially in light of the current executive branch actions of inability to find emails and non appearances before congress and contemptuous memory loss.

I think Congressional oversite needs an update - no not to the WaPo suggestion of application of approved torture techniques to the executive branch - but via the FISA update, or some other system that can get the emails - subpoena them from the NSA or something, so that Congress can do its job. Am I totally out to lunch on this?

The approval of the Crandall Canyon mine plans took 12 days.

12 days......it came out again in the testimony of the Crandall Canyon families, again - and with those on the panel following the family members who spokem again. Mr. Stickler, in his testimony in early Sept (9/05?, I think) said he hadn't seen the plans or the approval for such plans (a letter) until it was handed to him at the hearing. I mean - JesusChrist-on-a-Friday! What?!

..to people at the top the little people who do the hard work every day matters little to them....they are just fodder....just like the soldiers are for their war machine..so will coal workers be so they can turn on the multitude of lights at their mini mansions.

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