Daily Archives: April 6, 2010

In case you’ve been baffled by the lies Fox News tells about the Health Insurance Bill…

…I’m glad to present this definitive video lesson on what the Health Bill really does and why we should be more than glad we have it.

Save this to show your friends and relatives who may have doubts… it will help:

Is Karzai really going to turn to the Taliban? Should we care?

Fred Kaplan has written a very good article in Slate. Here’s a clip… but go in and read the whole thing:
clipped from www.slate.com

Has Karzai Gone Crazy?What matters is whether he’s a reliable partner.
What is to be done about Hamid Karzai? The short answer is: not much.
These past few years, since the revival of counterinsurgency doctrine, the U.S. military has learned much about “asymmetrical conflicts,” in which an ostensibly powerful nation (e.g., the United States) finds itself outmaneuvered by considerably weaker adversaries (e.g., al-Qaida, the Taliban) who have figured out how to tap our vulnerabilities.

Hamid Karzai. Click image to expand.
It seems that the president of Afghanistan has been learning his own lessons about how to play this game.
Karzai’s regime—its sovereignty, budget, army, police, even his personal security—depends entirely on the United States, NATO, and a handful of other foreign allies.
It’s like the old joke: If you owe the bank $1 million, the bank owns you; if you owe the bank $1 billion, you own the bank.
We’re the bank, and Karzai’s the one in unfathomably deep debt
  blog it

Coal Mine Disaster Update

It now looks like the mine, about 30 miles south of Charleston, has a significant history of safety violations, including 57 infractions just last month for (among other things) not properly ventilating the highly combustible methane.

It has also ignored many of these violation notices, refused to pay fines and in the past year, faced federal fines of more than $382,000 for repeated serious violations involving its ventilation plan and equipment at Upper Big Branch.

Massey CEO Don Blankenship has a history of bribing politicians and judges and threatening reporters who bring the mine’s violations public. Check out some from the last four years on ABC HERE.

Unfortunately, it looks like Senators Byrd and Rockefeller looked the other way as well.

Coal Mine Disaster

This morning in West Virginia we are all hanging on the news reports that started last night about the coal mine explosion in the Upper Big Branch mine, about 30 miles south of Charleston, Monday afternoon.

25 miners are now known dead… four are missing. Search teams have been forced to stop looking, I guess because of the danger of gas buildups… they think there might be another explosion.

Governor Manchin, who returned from a Florida vacation, has said this morning that they are drilling new gas relief holes to clear the mines so that recovery teams can go back in, but it is not expected to happen before 6:00 PM.