Tag Archives: Richard Stickler Crandall Canyon Mine Mine and Health Safety Administrator political commissars political ideology FCC AT&T Bellsouth wireless spectrum 700Mhz censorship competitiveness political

Heck of a Job, Stickler

Richard Sticker ((ABC 4 News))
What practical difference does it make when a president appoints political commissars as heads of departments and agencies, enforcing ideologicallines instead of doing their job?
Also coming to light, is the fact that Stickler’s nomination to head the mine administration was twice rejected by congress and rejected when republicans were still in charge. Rejected reportedly by senators who were concerned about Stickler’s safety record when he operated mines. After his nomination was twice rejected by the Senate, President Bush gave Richard Stickler the mine safety job with a recess appointment. That’s a presidential appointment made when congress is not in session.

Finally, congressional investigations and hearings are now expected to look at a key provision of federal mining law, one which requires the U.S. Government to be the main communicator when an accident occurs. ABC News now notes it took the mine safety administration two days to take public control of the Crandall Canyon Mine. ABC also adds, “Others were irate that [mine owner Bob] Murray was allowed to publicly predict success and contradict MSHA itself while agency officials quietly looked on.”

Federal mine safety official’s credentials questioned, Chris Vanocur, ABC 4 News, Last Update: 8/20 2007 8:00 pm

Dead people in mines. Dead people in Hurricane Katrina. Postal rate hikes for small publications. Wireless spectrum handed over to a few big companies. And of course massive consolidation of first mile Internet ISPs in the hands of companies that aren’t delivering on their promises and that indulge in repeated political censorship while cooperating with the government in wiretapping.

The stakes going forward are even higher, including economic competitiveness, control of information, and political discourse and with it the survival of a political system.

At least the traditional media finally noticed the problem with the appointment of the Mine and Health Safety Administrator. Imagine if we had more proactive investigative media that might have actually noticed his appointment when it happened. And imagine if we had none, which is a very real possibility with continuing media consolidation and increasing control over the Internet by a very small number of companies.