Another Bush recess appointee turns out to be incompetent.

So I’ve been following the developments with the Utah mine disaster—with it’s trapped miners and the subsequent death of several rescuers in a second cave-in—waiting for the inevitable revelation that someone in charge is an idiot. Why am I not surprised that it’s yet another Bush end-run-around-Congress appointee:

Increasing attention is now being paid to Stickler, the federal government’s main mine man.

Stickler used to be a mining executive who – according to various media reports – ran mines which had several fatalities and “…an incident rate that was often twice the national average.”

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.

You’d think the Bush Administration would’ve learned something from the whole Hurricane Katrina fiasco, but that’d be ridiculously optimistic. Bush isn’t a learner, he’s a deciderer. And he decidered to put idiots in charge of important federal agencies because he values loyalty over competency.

7 thoughts on “Another Bush recess appointee turns out to be incompetent.

  1. When you’re as shitty at your job as Bush is, it’s important to surround yourself with people who stink worse than you do.

  2. When you’re as shitty at your job as Bush is, it’s important to surround yourself with people who stink worse than you do.

    Or yes men that make you feel adequate.

  3. I have an interest in mines, and have been in several. Everyone knows when you go in, it may very well be a one way ticket. So I just thought I would let you guys know….If you hear that Paul from SEB is trapped in a mine. Please do not endanger yourselves trying to rescue me. Remember it was my decision to put myself at risk. Blame the Government, Blame the Owners. But give me most of the credit for a mentality that lives on the edge, and likes to visit a place that I know to be dangerous.

    More than likely what has happened is the roof has caved in. That means a lot of weight ( Millions of Tons ) has collapsed on some delicate living tissue. If they did find the miners it will be with a microscope.

    I sorry for the families, But it’s not like they should be completely surprised. And come to think of it, None of us are promised one more day. So we should just make the best of the one we have.

    As for the “Bush Administration” Most of those mines in that area were in operation before he was even born.

  4. And your point is that you wouldn’t make a particularly good appointee either, because like the guy who got the job your qualifications basically amount to “I have an interest in mines, and have been in several?”

    It’s not about “those mines should be safe!” It’s about “the guy who in charge of

    should possess that expert knowledge.”  If your main claim to experience is a shitty track record within the field then I expect that you’d be available for the job, but that doesn’t mean anyone should be happy if you get it.

    Taxpayer money is paying the guy’s salary, and Bush basically performed a massive contortion to see to it that the people who legally have a say in whether or not we spent the money on this guy didn’t. Again, it doesn’t matter that people died or that there was an accident except that it focused people’s attention on yet another example of Bush’s vastly inappropriate priorities and improper behavior.

  5. I’m sure there are things that can be done to make mines safer that have apparently been ignored, side-stepped or done in half measures in order to save money.  Obviously a mine is a dangerous place, but there is a huge difference between a mine that is up to federal safety guidelines (usually owned by people who give a shit about things like the safety of their employees) and one that has paid off inspectors, turned a blind eye to regulations and potential hazards that could be addressed, etc. 

    Nobody is saying mining isn’t dangerous, but the guys that own the mine have a responsibility to make it as safe as possible, and this guy apparently didn’t do a very good job. I can’t see why anyone would think he wasn’t right for the job.

  6. Paul:  The biggest enemy of progress (as I believe Adm. Hopper pointed out) is “We’ve always done it that way.”  Stop blaming the victims for the greed and incompetence of others.

    We all know that if we are to die cataclysmically, it is more likely to happen in our own cars than anywhere else.  According to you reasoning (by which you blame the miners for their own demise), we are all adrenaline junkies.  And thus automakers should not have to waste money on safety features, and there should be no speed limits nor drunk-driving laws.  Hell, let’s uproot all the stop-signs and traffic lights while we’re at it.  It’s all our own fault if we and our families meet a mangled, bloody end.

    Bottom line, mines can be made safer.  Starting with regulators who aren’t collaborators and laws that bankrupt the fat bastards and throw their craven, greedy @$$es in jail for violations WELL BEFORE anyone is killed.

    And, while we’re at it, bankrupt and imprison incompetent sellouts like Stickler for falling down on the job for which they’re so handsomely paid.

    That’s the only way things will ever change.  Stop letting rich white people hide behind their corporations and armies of lawyers.  Stop sending them to the Club Feds and Camp Cupcakes for a few months when they are convicted.  Confiscate their last dime for reparations to the people they hurt.  And for Pete’s sake, stop hiring the foxes to guard the hen-house.

    When I see the next Ken Lay or Martha Stewart or Bush’s latest “heckuva job, Brownie” sycophant actually worry about getting a job after their (long) stint in the hoosegow, then I’ll know that enforcement is working.

    Until then…  [sound of crickets chirping]

  7. I am not defending any situation. I could have, and perhaps should have gone on to state that any government agency FDA, FMCSA, FAA just about any of them that start with an F are not up to reasonable standards. I work in an very hazardous environment. Sure there are federal safety laws in place, But those laws are the minimums requirements. I subscribe to a higher standard that exceeds those laws.

    As I understand the incident, they were removing the pillars ( Superstructure ) that holds the ceilings. That us a final stage in the life of a mine. It is also a very delicate and dangerous activity.

    Do we know that the miners were using every tool of safety available to them? And not just the minimum federal guild lines, but real common sense.

    And I am also of the opinion that sending more people into an already existing collapse in an attempt to rescue ( even though noble ) is critically bad judgment.

    I think the Bottom line concerning mines..Regardless of Federal Guidlines. Its up to each individual to utilize all the safety standards available ( Both Federal and Common Sense ) Even with everyone doing their best…Working in a mine is still dangerous, and comes with risk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.