GOP puppet masters fool some of the people all of the time (and kill some too)

Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship refuses to hire union employees and pays lawyers to fight government fines for his mine safety violations rather than fix those safety violations.

Blankenship’s greed just cost 25 to 29 of his employees their lives:

The company that runs the West Virginia mine where an explosion killed at least 25 workers frequently sidesteps hefty fines by aggressively contesting safety violations, including recent problems with the ventilation system that clears away combustible methane gas….

Massey Energy Co., which owns the Upper Big Branch mine, the site of Monday’s explosion, is still contesting more than a third of all its violations there since 2007. In the past year, federal inspectors have proposed more than $1 million in fines for violations at the mine in Montcoal, W.Va. Only 16 percent have been paid.

Among the violations that have been appealed are the company’s two largest fines on record, assessed in January for problems with the mine’s ventilation systems….

Investigators still don’t know what ignited Monday’s blast but believe concentrated methane may have had something to do with it. The mine has a history of violations for not properly ventilating the highly combustible gas, which is common in coal deposits.

What makes Mr. Blankenship even more fiendishly repugnant is his use of Massey Energy money to fund 2009’s Labor Day Tea Party.

By breaking laws to skimp on safety, Blankenship exploits his non-union workers to maximize profit. He then pours some of that profit into a political movement that tricks desperate, bitter, disillusioned, frustrated people with the most to gain from unions, government programs, and government regulation into opposing these as the reasons for America’s dire predicament.

So many Americans have been intellectually crippled by our horrid K-12 school system and god-awful media that tens of millions of poor- and middle-class Americans are easily manipulated by corporate money and media into perceiving policies that would improve their lives (like an expansion of health care access) as dangerous threats rather than beneficial solutions.

Greedy manipulators like Don Blankenship are pulling their strings.

Posted by James on Wednesday, April 07, 2010