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Why the GOP IS the root of all evil...
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3435

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So much BS from south of the border. If you want credibility, tell the WHOLE story.

Quote:
Miners went to McConnell hoping for his endorsement. They left with mixed feelings. | Lexington Herald Leader

As black lung surges across Eastern Kentucky, clinic expands to meet demand.

A group of former Kentucky coal miners, who suffer from the deadly and incurable black lung disease, had mixed feelings about a brief meeting Tuesday with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell, his staff and the miners reportedly discussed funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, a federal program at risk at becoming underfunded that pays a monthly stipend and covers medical expenses for black lung victims and their widows.

About 12,000 former miners nationwide rely on the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund to cover costs and make ends meet, but a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office showed that the fund is $4.3 billion in debt, and a tax on coal which funded the trust fund was cut in half in January. Many advocates for the fund worry it may soon become insolvent.

There is no cure for black lung disease, which is caused by the inhalation of dust particles in mines leading to severe lung damage. Cases of the deadly disease have surged in recent years in Eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia.

The Kentucky Republican, who the miners and their advocates see as key to passing any sort of Congressional assistance, told the group of miners in a brief statement “that they were going to be taken care of,” said Kenny Fleming, a former Pike County miner who suffers from black lung.
“We just have to take him at his word and then we also have to keep him at his word, which I think that’s what we’re after,” Fleming said. “Hopefully he will come through.”

Fleming said McConnell was “kind of vague” and didn’t provide much detail on how the miners would be assisted.

Jimmy Moore, the head of the Letcher County Black Lung Association, said he found McConnell’s conduct “rude.” After the meeting, he said McConnell wouldn’t do anything to reinstate the tax which funded the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

“He might’ve stayed a minute,” Moore said, referring to McConnell’s quick exit from the meeting. “...It was a worthless trip, that’s the way I feel.”
Robert Steurer, a spokesperson for McConnell, said the senator was “glad to welcome his constituents to the Capitol,” and that members of McConnell’s staff spoke with the miners for about an hour.

“It’s important to note that even though the temporary tax increase expired last year, current benefits for our impacted miners and their families have remained at prior levels,” Steurer said in a statement. “Senator McConnell and his staff have been working closely with interested parties regarding future funding for the program, and will continue to ensure these important benefits are maintained.”

Steurer said McConnell told the miners that the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund would be maintained, and that the miners shouldn’t be “wrapped with anxiety that somehow the money isn’t going to be there.”

“I wanted to reassure you all that we’re not going to let that happen and you have enough to worry about whether that’s going to happen and it’s not going to happen,” Steurer said McConnell told the miners. “Whatever the anxiety you’re feeling about that, don’t worry about it. We’re not going to let that happen.”

First responders on Tuesday had nothing but praise for McConnell, who met with them last month and promised a vote on legislation for 9/11 first responders before the August recess.

“He kept his word to me, he kept his word to the men who were in that meeting,” said John Feal, a construction worker who met with McConnell in June.

Sergio Gor, a spokesperson for Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, said a group of miners also met with members of Paul’s office. He said the senator’s staff is exploring ways it can assist.

The contingent of Kentucky miners were part of a larger group of about 150 miners and widows who met with legislators around the Capitol to advocate for greater benefits and more secure funding for federal programs that provide payments and health coverage for coal miners who suffer from black lung disease.


Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article233016257.html#storylink=cpy
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real-human



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 10706
Location: on earth

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

though the post was not from me,

one thing we know when Moscow Mitch talks it is a lie... your link is nothing but what Moscow ordered , just all talk.

Hey are those mines any safer now since Trump came in?

Quote:
“I wanted to reassure you all that we’re not going to let that happen and you have enough to worry about whether that’s going to happen and it’s not going to happen,” Steurer said McConnell told the miners. “Whatever the anxiety you’re feeling about that, don’t worry about it. We’re not going to let that happen.”

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when good people stay silent the right wing are the only ones heard.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3435

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

baja said:

Quote:
though the post was not from me,


Seemed like a Baja post, and I was careless, but the BS credit does go to Mac.
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real-human



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 10706
Location: on earth

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
baja said:

Quote:
though the post was not from me,


Seemed like a Baja post, and I was careless, but the BS credit does go to Mac.


while I applaud you for posting an actual link directly on the subject, which is rare from the right. The article was good, the most important thing. What did the 120 coal miners say after the meeting?

Quote:
“We just have to take him at his word and then we also have to keep him at his word, which I think that’s what we’re after,” Fleming said. “Hopefully he will come through.”

Fleming said McConnell was “kind of vague” and didn’t provide much detail on how the miners would be assisted.

Jimmy Moore, the head of the Letcher County Black Lung Association, said he found McConnell’s conduct “rude.” After the meeting, he said McConnell wouldn’t do anything to reinstate the tax which funded the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

“He might’ve stayed a minute,” Moore said, referring to McConnell’s quick exit from the meeting. “...It was a worthless trip, that’s the way I feel.”

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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 12654
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
So much BS from south of the border. If you want credibility, tell the WHOLE story.

Quote:
Miners went to McConnell hoping for his endorsement. They left with mixed feelings. | Lexington Herald Leader

As black lung surges across Eastern Kentucky, clinic expands to meet demand.

A group of former Kentucky coal miners, who suffer from the deadly and incurable black lung disease, had mixed feelings about a brief meeting Tuesday with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


“He might’ve stayed a minute,”


Techno--you get a partial "gotcha" for this, and I appreciate your effort to put more of the story out--but it is far from the whole story. I will also admit to a willingness to believe the worst of Moscow Mitch, particularly when it comes to protecting coal miner's health and providing pathways for them to be retrained as coal continues to decline.

After all, it was Mitch's wife who helped oversee the roll back of mining safety laws under Bush that led to the death of many miners.

Quote:
I’ll start close to home with my senator, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell. No other senator has so adamantly defended the right of corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to election campaigns, all in the name of free speech. And because coal companies give 91 percent of that money to Republicans, George W. Bush rewarded McConnell’s efforts by naming his wife, Elaine Chao, as Labor Secretary in 2001. Within days of Bush’s inauguration, Chao replaced Assistant Secretary of Labor Davitt McAteer, who oversaw the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), with Dave Lauriski, a man who had spent his professional life managing and lobbying for coal companies.

Several months before Lauriski’s appointment, the largest-ever environmental disaster east of the Mississippi occurred when the bottom of a huge coal impoundment pond gave way, pouring 300 million gallons of toxic coal slurry into the town of Inez, Kentucky (where, incidentally, LBJ had stood on a miner’s porch in 1964 to announce his War on Poverty). Jack Spadaro, superintendent of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy (which trains the health inspectors and support personnel at MSHA), discovered that Martin County Coal Corporation, the company mining above Inez, had been warned that the pond was unstable and would eventually break. But Martin had refused to comply with MSHA’s recommendations to reinforce the pond’s reservoir. Spadaro and a team of investigators recommended that Martin be cited for criminal negligence.

But there was one problem. Dave Lauriski was not Davitt McAteer. Lauriski (who during the investigation met repeatedly with Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, Martin’s parent company) refused to go along with Spadaro’s recommendation. Consequently, Spadaro refused to sign the final report of MSHA’s investigation. In retaliation, Lauriski had the lock on Spadaro’s office door changed, then tried to have him fired on trumped-up charges. When that didn’t work, he transferred Spadaro far from his West Virginia home to a Pittsburgh office.

Spadaro retired rather than accept the transfer, but Lauriski used the same tactic against other MSHA employees who had the temerity to do their job of protecting miners. On May 14, 2002, Lauriski met in his Washington office with Bob Murray, an influential coal operator, who complained that safety enforcement at his mines was too strict. Ellen Smith of Mine Safety and Health News reports that Murray had personally donated $75,000 to Republican campaigns and that from 2000 to 2003 his political action committee contributed $648,000–96 percent of it going to Republicans. Within days of Murray’s meeting with Lauriski, two MSHA officials were transferred away from Murray’s mines.

A few months later Murray told other MSHA officials that if enforcement didn’t loosen up at his Powhatan Mine in Ohio–which had the worst safety record in Mine District 3–he would put district manager Tim Thompson “in his sights.” According to Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette, Murray told the MSHA officials, “Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and the last time I checked, he was sleeping with your boss.” Within months Thompson was transferred out of Murray’s district, which was already operating at only 86 percent of federally required staffing levels. Two weeks after the transfer, in January 2003, an explosion at the district’s McElroy Coal Company killed three miners.
https://www.thenation.com/article/who-killed-miners/

The list of travesties goes on under Trump.

Of course, someone with a true commitment to using market forces instead of just regulation would argue that the coal companies should pay for the cost of the diseases that they caused, and clean-up the waste they left around. Think Moscow Mitch is going to require his campaign contributors to do that?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 12654
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn’t it obvious?
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wynsurfer



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 903

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That same river caught on fire in 1952.

https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Cuyahoga_River_Fire
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 12654
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever the Koch’s want, the Koch’s get. May have saved $1.8 billion fro Trump’s tax bill. https://americansfortaxfairness.org/koch-brothers-1-billion-tax-cut/

Other estimates are that the Koch’s only save $1 billion—a year. For that, the ultra-wealthy will pay a tithe (figuratively speaking) for Republican elections. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/27/koch-brothers-network-to-spend-400-million-in-midterm-election-cycle.html
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 12654
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course she is married to Moscow Mitch--and was responsible for lax enforcement of mine safety laws that killed many.


Quote:
Hannah Knowles
September 17, 2019 at 8:07 a.m. PDT
The House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday sought documents from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao as it investigates what it calls “troubling questions” into whether the Trump appointee misused her position for personal and family benefit.

Noting that federal employees are forbidden from using public office for friends’ or relatives’ “private gain,” the committee’s letter to Chao cites media reports that allege the secretary leveraged her position to help Foremost Group — a New York-based shipping company that carries goods between the United States and China and that is owned by her father and sisters — gain “influence and status” with the Chinese government that has given the firm millions in loans.

The sweeping request for documents follows growing scrutiny of Chao and joins a host of inquiries into the Trump administration by a Democrat-led House. The committee cites reporting by the New York Times this summer that the Transportation Department canceled a fall 2017 trip to China after State Department staff members grew leery of Chao’s efforts to include relatives in meetings with Chinese officials. House investigators are also examining Chao’s appearances with her father, James Chao, in interviews that featured the DOT’s seal, and Monday’s letter alleges the secretary’s father “touted [Chao’s] influence within the United States government and boasted about his access to President Trump on Air Force One.”

ADVERTISING

The Transportation Department pushed back on claims of ethics violations Monday, saying in a statement to The Washington Post that Chao has not been involved with the family’s shipping business for more than four decades. The department confirmed it received the committee’s letter and said it looks forward to responding.

“Media attacks targeting the Secretary’s family are stale and only attempt to undermine her long career of public service,” the department wrote.

While Chao does not have a formal stake in Foremost Group, James Chao has given millions to his daughter and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the New York Times reported this summer. Other relatives, including a sister who serves as the company’s chief executive, have donated more than $1 million to McConnell’s reelection efforts, according to the Times. David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell, told The Post the money from James Chao was in memory of Chao’s mother but did not provide comment on the House investigation letter.

An article in Politico last year highlighted dozens of media interviews in which Chao stood beside her father — sometimes in conjunction with flags for the Transportation Department or Kentucky. Experts told Politico the interviews could be interpreted as promoting Chao’s father’s book or signaling the Chaos’ valuable U.S. connections in China.

“There is nothing inappropriate with a Cabinet member appearing with her father or other family members,” a DOT spokesperson responded at the time. “The secretary’s appearances are intended to share an inspirational story about immigrants from a minority community who have become successful in our country.”

But others in the government have questioned Chao’s mixing of family and official business since she became head of the Transportation Department in 2017.

“This was alarmingly inappropriate,” David Rank, a former State Department staffer, said of the China visit canceled over Chao’s attempts to involve relatives, according to the Times.

The Oversight and Reform Committee’s letter also probes recent moves by the Transportation Department to cut millions from programs meant to help the U.S. shipping industry, saying the department’s actions “may threaten national security” by making the country potentially more dependent on foreign-flagged ships during war or emergencies. The Department’s proposals included ultimately rejected cuts to the Maritime Security Program, which helps ensure the military can access American-flagged ships in times of need.

Removing domestic maritime funding could have helped Foremost Group because the company owns foreign-flagged ships, the letter says.

The committee raises further concerns about Chao’s failure to divest from a construction company reliant on DOT infrastructure allocations until this summer — despite a promise to do so in 2017, before she was confirmed to the position. Chao sold her stock in Vulcan Materials Company, where she once served on the board of directors, days after a Wall Street Journal report drew attention to her continued holdings.

Amid scrutiny of the Vulcan shares, a June 13 DOT letter to the Office of Government Ethics described “inadvertent misstatements of fact” in Chao’s earlier financial disclosures and an ethics agreement. The Oversight Committee says it is examining these misstatements as well as Chao’s compliance with ethics and disclosure requirements.

The committee’s letter makes 18 requests for documents and information, ranging from any communications about Foremost involving DOT employees to unredacted copies of documents released to the Times under a Freedom of Information Act request.

According to a senior Democratic Committee aide, this request was the “initial inquiry to Secretary Chao about these specific issues.” It asks that Chao fulfill the requests by Sept. 30.

The investigation could lead to higher penalties for inaccurate financial statements, new disclosure requirements or other changes in the law, the letter signed by Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) states.

The Transportation Department disputed the allegations against Chao on many fronts in its statement to The Post on Monday. It suggested the Chao family’s shipping company falls outside the department’s purview, saying its Maritime Administration is “not a major regulator of the maritime industry” and deals mostly with domestic shipping. Foremost Group does not operate U.S.-flagged vessels and is “not involved in the domestic U.S. merchant marine shipping business,” the department said.

The department countered criticism of its past proposed cuts to domestic shipping programs by saying the Maritime Administration’s operating budget is larger than ever. The department requested the full $300 million authorized for the Maritime Security Program this year and is working to replace training ships for marine academies, it said.

The department added that its ethics officials do not see Chao’s stock in Vulcan Materials as a conflict of interest and said the secretary has been recused from issues involving the company. Chao sold her stocks anyway due to a “commitment to going above and beyond what is required,” the department said.

The department attributed errors in Chao’s ethics disclosures to a “misunderstanding.”


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